Port Arthur EDC pushing for new counsel & gets updates on downtown properties

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The journey to finding permanent legal counsel for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation is moving along with the naming of a committee to review responses to a Request for Qualifications.

Three board members volunteered this week to be part of the committee: Darrell Anderson, Jerry LaBove and Christopher Smith.

Other committee members will come from the PAEDC staff.

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Krystle Mueller, interim operating manager, explained during the recent meeting the PAEDC did advertise for RFQ’s for legal counsel. Interested parties have until Oct. 15 to get their packets submitted.

Krystle Mueller, interim operating manager, right, shifts through papers during the meeting. (Mary Meaux/The News)

No date was set for feedback from the RFQ review.

In mid-August, the PAEDC’s legal counsel, Guy Goodson, resigned, along with the chief executive officer Floyd Batiste and several board members.

Frank Garza of the San Antonio-based law firm Davidson, Troilo, Ream & Garza was named interim legal counsel by the end August.

In other action, PAEDC board members approved Quest Maintenance Services LLS for janitorial services for certain areas of The Press Building for a three-month term, renewable for three additional months.

Jana Barnes, facilities manager at The Press Building, said there were three bids with Quest being the recommended company.

The cost is $1,565 per month.

The Press Building is part of the revitalization of the former Port Arthur News building at 549 Fourth St. in Downtown Port Arthur. This portion will include three kitchens, two of which Lamar State College Port Arthur will use for cooking and baking instruction while the third will be for commercial use.

The PAEDC board also unanimously approved a request for a rent reduction made by Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.

The reason, Mueller said, is the 501 building that houses the chamber, PAEDC and other businesses had air conditioning issues in July, August and September.

There was a lengthy delay in receiving the needed part to fix the AC problem, as the part had to be made to order. But the air was not totally off each of those days, sometimes it was at 50 percent, other days the office was closed, she said.

The chamber asked for a 2/3 reduction in rent for that period of time for a total of $1,681.44.

The AC has since been repaired.