Donald Frank Sr. addresses Port Arthur goals for second term in at-large position

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

As Donald Frank Sr. prepares to take the Oath of Office for his second term on City Council, his goals are for the future of Port Arthur.

“The primary goal for this next term is a continuation of what I believe we’ve already begun,” he said. “We’re working on infrastructure across our city, seeking to improve what we’ve already started to address — the flooding that is possible by putting in new lift stations and working on the drainage projects that we have across the city, still working on the water plant that we approved. Just a continuation of working on all of the infrastructure needs that we have in our city.”

In April 2022, officials broke ground on Port Arthur’s main wastewater treatment plant with a plan to expand and improve the existing facility over the course of five years.

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City council in April 2020 voted to sell $60.56 million in certificates of obligation to renovate the facility. The bonds were purchased by the Texas Water Development Board, which then gave the city a reduced interest rate of $6.46 million.

And a $16.9 million drainage upgrade to the areas of 9th Avenue and Jimmy Johnson that recently received federal funding will alleviate issues in an area of Port Arthur that is highly prone to flooding.

“Whenever it rains or whenever a storm comes, I think we all have a little PTSD about whether or not it will be another Harvey or whether or not we’ll have to go through another Harvey event,” Frank said. “So as we are able to address those issues along with streets — those are always near and dear to the hearts of our citizens. And we’re addressing those.”

In 2019, City Council allocated nearly $63 million toward street repair, which remains under works.

Frank said another personal goal of his is to begin strategic planning with the city manager and stakeholders.

“What do we want to see in the future? And then moving toward addressing the needs of our citizens to make Port Arthur a place where people will want to live,” he said.

Frank, as well as other new council members, will be sworn-in Wednesday during a special meeting at 10:30 a.m. at City Hall, 444 4th Street following a canvas of the May 6 general elections.

Frank ran against Chuck Vincent, gaining 7,544 votes or 65.93 percent of the turnout. Vincent received 34.07 percent or 798 votes. According to information from the City Secretary’s office, only 9.13 percent of registered voters participated in the joint election with council, Port Arthur Independent School District and the Sabine Pass Port Authority Commissioners.

The two at large councilmembers voted in this year — Frank and Thomas Kinlaw — will serve four-year terms.

“The city charter allows those four years because they want a staggered council so that everyone won’t run at the same time again,” Frank said.

The District 6 Councilman also said he encourages input from the public.

“I want citizens to know the council works hard to address all of the issues that we face for our citizens, and that we are seeking to do the best job collectively that we can,” he said. “We are concerned about those issues that they are concerned about. We really do appreciate their input, and we want to hear from them so that we can address those issues.”