Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick details impactful projects, recent successes

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Jefferson County had $3.2 billion worth of new economic agreements worked on and final stages completed in the first three months of 2023.

That’s in addition to the billions and billions of dollars of economic development from the past three years, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said as he spoke of growth in the County during the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Breakfast Tuesday at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.

These, he said, aren’t the only projects in the works.

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The importance of economic growth isn’t lost on the county judge.

“We continue to attract a lot of new development projects, significant job creators of significant infrastructure improvement projects, and many of those projects are synergistic and then they promote other projects,” Branick said.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick speaks during the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Breakfast Monday. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Branick highlighted ongoing work such as beach dune restoration, coastal restoration and flood protection, adding the county received more than $200 million from the BP Oil Spill funding.

There are completed projects such as the freshwater siphons in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and work at Keith Lake Fish Pass.

“And as we sit here this morning there’s work going on at McFaddin Beach, the 21 miles of coastal dune restoration in progress,” he said.

Another section from Chambers County eastward to Sabine Pass was recently completed, but not without some problems, including the death of a dredge worker, major malfunctions on equipment that required another dredge to be brought in and delays.

Pat Avery, CEO and president of the Chamber noted many upcoming events such as the Pathway to Success Luncheon April 13, May Luncheon May 25 featuring Valero-Port Arthur Refinery Vice President of Operations Mark Skobel, Industry Trade Show 2023 Aug. 2 and Golden Pass LNG/GPACC Gold Tournament scheduled for Sept. 8.

Branick was one of 10 speakers during the Leadership Breakfast.

Other speakers at the event included Allen D. Sims with Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7, Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton, Sabine Neches Navigation District Project Manager Kyle Reed, Port of Port Arthur Director of Trade Development Anthony Theriot, Port Arthur Independent School District Superintendent Mark Porterie, Lamar State College Port Arthur Vice President for Workforce and Continuing Education Ben Stafford, Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation CEO Terry Stokes, Sabine Pilots President Captain Andrew Guidry, and LSAPC Small Business Development Center Director Dana Espinal.