City Council Questions, $ 117,000 Approval for Roof Remodeling and Repairing on Boston Avenue – Port Arthur News
NEDERLAND – Two companies are about to move to Nederland on Boston Avenue after council votes to approve $ 117,000 for roof remodeling and repair.
The Nederland Economic Development Corporation owns empty storefronts at 1215 and 1217 Boston Avenues, and managing director Kay DeCuir said leases have been signed for companies ready to get to those locations by September.
DeCuir said the names of these companies cannot be disclosed as both are working to amicably end business deals in their current locations.
She described the two companies as something different from what is currently available on Boston Avenue.
“Hopefully after two years everyone has already announced that they want to buy the building. As a good steward, we would therefore give them the first right to refuse to buy this building,” said DeCuir.
The Dutch city council approved the expenditure for the modernization of the building at a 4: 1 rate after a city council, the mayor and the city administrator asked the EDC about the signing of the leases before details of the tenants were communicated to the entire city council.
DeCuir countered that three members of the city council – Mayor Don Albanese, Billy Neal of Ward 2 and Sylvia Root of Ward 4’a – were on the EDC board and were aware of the lease agreement, which was also advised by the EDC board’s attorney.
It was found that Albanese did not attend the EDC meeting at which the leases were approved.
“The way it should work is that it’s discussed down there (EDC) and approved here (in the city council),” Albanese said.
City administrator Chris Duque was more forceful, saying the city council had no choice and was forced to approve the building repairs due to current leases.
“I think the question is, are we going to make decisions in the EDC office or in the city council?” Said Duque.
“The only reason we’re responding to this tonight and getting past Councilor Austin concerns is to see the unilateral action that forced you to do it tonight instead of delaying it to allay his concerns. “
Ward 1 councilor Talmadge Austin voted against the modernization of the building because it said the EDC had not adequately reviewed an existing business on Boston Avenue that would have been interested in expanding at locations 1215 and 1217 on Boston Avenue .
He also reiterated a previous concern about the EDC’s entry into the rental business.
“To me, if you’re not in the real estate business, what’s the point of going out and trying to lease a property when it can be sold and it will grow a growing business,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to me.”
In defense, DeCuir stressed that the company’s economic development model is to encourage the job creation and tax revenue generated by the Boston Avenue renovation projects.
Earlier this year, the Nederland Economic Development Corporation received approval to spend $ 230,000 on the acquisition of locations at 1215 and 1217 Boston Avenues.
At $ 57.50 per square foot, DeCuir said the price was “cheap on Boston Avenue”.
Officials said the sites owned by Roberto Maraist had been closed for more than two years after previously being used as a fish and aquarium store.