City manager updates projects in Port Arthur, shares “open for business” message to developers

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton’s final words at a recent event for the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce summed up his update on the happenings in the city.

“Folks, the city of Port Arthur is open for business. It’s open for business in a very transparent way,” Burton said. “We are committed to you. We are committed to the partnership of the six other taxing entities in the city of Port Arthur. We are committed to work with you in order to deliver the infrastructure needs that you need in order for us to continue to thrive, to grow and educate our children.”

Burton’s message highlighted the recently passed balanced budget, new and existing projects, and more during the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Leadership Breakfast.

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The event was held Tuesday morning at Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

Pat Avery, president/CEO of the chamber, introduced Burton, saying he has worked for the city for 14 years, moving up the ranks from director of development services to assistant city manager, interim city manager and, finally, city manager.

Speakers and dignitaries from the Leadership Breakfast include Daylyn Turner, top left, Allen Sims, Captain Andrew Guidry, Stuart Salter, Dr. Mark Porterie and Judge Jeff Branick. Seated, Dr. Betty Reynard, Rev. Albert Moses Jr., Pat Avery and Ron Burton. (Mary Meaux/The News)

The economic impact of the city’s businesses help fund the wheels of progress.

“Without the money we can come here and give all these great speeches but we wouldn’t be able to attend to the education of our children, we wouldn’t be able to dredge the canal that we need, the boats wouldn’t be able to come into the city of Port Arthur. We wouldn’t be able to have the parts that we need to create the quality of life, not only for visitors, for the people that work and play here but for our children, so thank you for doing that,” he said.

Burton said the city council recently approved a balanced budget totaling $84 million and there was an excess in sales tax of $2.5 million.

In addition, the city has been working on its streets improvement project and to date completed 96 streets.

“This year from January to September we have completed 60 streets in the city,” he said, offering thanks to the staff responsible for the work.

Another major project is the new health department. The city purchased the building on 9th Avenue and has attracted funding for the building/renovation needs. Once completed, the health department will move from downtown to the 9th Avenue location.

A ballot initiative from last year allows the city to allocate $1 million for park improvements.

“We’ll see improvements in the next two to three years in Rose Hill Park and Adams Park and the parks and recreation department,” he said. “By then we’ll have had $3 million coupled with funds from the general fund. We should be able to see some major improvements in our parks.”

Another project is work on Woodworth Boulevard. The city has allocated $3 million to this project, and Arceneaux, Wilson & Cole is tapped for the design of the major thoroughfare.