PORT NECHES – When Port Neches City officials look at potential projects, the first thing they look at is infrastructure.
While the word itself doesn’t always conjure up the most exciting activities, it is synonymous with quality of life and the basic needs provided.
“As you all know, our focus is always on infrastructure. The idea is that we need to invest in it, be it water, sewers, roads, waterworks, sewage works, to maintain the integrity of those systems,” said Andre Wimer, Port Neches Town Manager.
On Thursday, the council learned of potential bond projects, but no decision has yet been made.
There’s the work that doesn’t normally get seen, like sanitary sewer lines and water projects, because “once it’s in the ground it’s there and is usually forgotten except by utility workers.
The sewage treatment plant will see some improvements if the project is approved.
“One of the biggest parts of this is replacing the centrifuge,” Wimer said of the necessary part needed for the facility.
There are also more than $275,000 worth of roads to get concrete replacement repairs, including areas on MacArthur, Heisler, Eighth Street, Matterhorn and Windsor to name a few.
One stretch of road — Block Street — could include repairs from Port Neches Avenue to the cemetery, Wimer said.
Public works director Taylor Shelton said Block Street will have a flexible base and if the project is approved it will have to wait a while.
The reason for the delay is that the city is awaiting construction of the new Woodcrest Elementary School and completion of a subdivision and the end of the school for the school year.
The projects total about $7 million, Wimer said.
Funding would be provided through the issuance of debt securities. The city regularly increases the debt service rate as old debts are paid off, keeping it in range.
Aside from this funding source, the city hopes to use Texas Commission on Environmental Quality funds from the BP oil spill and some from the Torm Mary oil spill.
On August 2, 2004, Buffalo Marine Barge 405 rammed the Torm Mary, a 528-foot Danish tanker at Sun Anchorage in the Netherlands.
A section of Port Neches Park near the waterway was converted into a command center when various authorities arrived on the scene. Approximately 30,000 gallons of oil was spilled.
City officials hope the funds will be used to rehabilitate the boat ramp area.
The projects will be discussed at a later date and no final decision has been made.