A proposal to concern Certificates of Obligation to fund $32.9 million in Capital Enchancment initiatives within the metropolis of Port Arthur garnered opposition to one of many gadgets — shifting the well being division north of Texas 73.
The Port Arthur Metropolis Council held a workshop by way of Zoom Friday morning that includes monetary advisor Anne Burger Entrekin of Hilltop Securities and a bond authorized advisor.
The town budgeted $900,000 in fiscal 12 months 2021 to buy the property at 5860 ninth Avenue, the previous web site of the Texas Well being and Human Companies workplace. The precise price got here in at $1.6 million for a $830,000 further price to town.
In line with the deed historical past on the Jefferson County Appraisal District web site, town acquired the property Dec. 16, 2020.
Ought to council approve the Capital Enchancment Plan and issuing the certificates of obligation, an estimated $4.5 million would go for engineering and development.
The present web site of the well being division is 449 Austin Avenue.
In October, the Council authorised an 18-month lease of the 2 story constructing to Aurora Capital Holdings, a Motiva subsidiary.
The bane of discontent got here from Mayor Thurman Bartie over the actual fact the well being division is shifting north of Texas 73.
Bartie stated he has been questioned, “Why aren’t we investing in what we would like others to put money into?” referring to downtown growth.
The proposed new location, proponents say, relies on knowledge displaying this to be a extra centralized location for the residents, however that is knowledge Bartie has not seen. Bartie was elected to the highest spot in 2019.
“I can’t embrace this line of pondering. I can’t completely assist the certificates of obligation,” Bartie stated.
Councilman Thomas Kinlaw III stated the problem of the well being division was already in movement when Bartie got here on as mayor. Kinlaw stated the mayor council obtained the suitable data on town’s inhabitants a number of years in the past.
“The statistical knowledge reveals a majority of the inhabitants is north of Texas 73,” Kinlaw stated.
Bartie requested if it had been potential to approve a majority of the COO till he obtained the data wanted to make his determination. Council is about to think about issuing the certificates of obligation on Tuesday.
Monetary advisor Anne Burger Entrekin defined that though there’s a timeline in place based mostly in the marketplace, a two-week keep on the choice shouldn’t affect the problem.
The workshop additionally included water and sewer enhancements and a variety of different initiatives.
No determination was made on Friday as this was a workshop solely.