President's Blog

Aug 05, 2016


The Texas summer finally arrived and it has people looking for the beach or indoor events. The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce members are no different but they continue to work with area partners to spotlight our city.

The Coast Guard City Task Force joined with the Port Arthur Rotary Club, Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and City of Port Arthur for Flag Day. Understanding the fact that those attending could only enjoy this outside, noontime event, for a short time, program chairman Russell Buss kept the ceremony short and sweet. With the flags of the countries that sail through our port most often, waving in the sea breeze, under blue skies and with sea gulls circling overhead, the Coast Guard presented Old Glory in front of a great crowd. Father Sinclair Oubre gave the blessing and tributes were read. It was a great event paying tribute to the symbol of our country and freedom around the world.

The Coast Guard Task Force, organized by the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce at the direction of Mayor Bobby Prince for the purpose of getting Port Arthur named  a Certified Coast Guard City, consists  Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, Chairman Bill Worsham, Major John Owens, representatives from the City, The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, Marine Safety Unit -  Port Arthur, The Coast Guard Station - Sabine, The Port Arthur Visitors Bureau, The Port Arthur International Seafarer’s Center, The Sabine Pilots, The Port of Port Arthur, Lamar State College – Port Arthur, and the Port Arthur School District.  In June this group began a program of presenting welcome tote bags to the new personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard in our district. Area merchants and the Port Arthur Visitors Bureau gathered useful items that someone moving into our area might need.

These two events are examples of the overall program this Task Force is organizing to welcome and spotlight our Coast Guard units.

Becoming a Coast Guard City was the dream of Mayor Delores “Bobby” Prince. It is just the latest of the dreams this great lady has for our city. As mayor of Port Arthur she has worked for 9 years for the city she loves. In June the chamber held an appreciation for Mayor Prince at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.  Attending this event, to show their love and appreciation, were 260 chamber members and area businesses. Joining these business leaders were U.S. Congressman Randy Weber, State Representative Joe Deshotel and representatives of State Senator Brandon Creighton and State Representative Dade Phelan. Senator Carl Parker spoke followed by Elizabeth Cravens owner of Mid-America Contractors and treasurer of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. Each presented Mayor Prince with a token of their gratitude and to help her remember the impact she made on our city.

Following the speakers, Chamber Chairperson of the Board, Barbara Phillips presented the mayor with a framed aerial photograph by Bart Bragg with the mayor’s photograph and date of her terms as mayor superimposed on the print. Attending the event was newly elected Mayor Derrick Freeman. Mr. Freeman was sworn in as Mayor Freeman the following week. the chamber offers its full cooperation and support of Mayor Freeman and the city council. The chamber will host a Welcome Mayor Freeman breakfast on August 23 at the Holiday Inn.  If you wish to attend check our website and register.

We continue with our major project to encourage the city to adopt a transportation plan that will address the condition of our old and worn roads as well as state and federal highways. The chamber will present 15 suggested avenues of need to our city for support. We will ask the city to review the plan, delete or add any projects they wish. In the end we want a transportation plan that the city and business community can support in Austin and Washington for funding. Just one example is the cloverleaf at Highway 73 and Highway 69. This mix master was the design 40 years ago but the increase in the number and speed of modern vehicles have made it a dangerous intersection. Should the city succeed in getting more business south of 73 it will only get worse. Each afternoon as traffic heads in all directions it becomes a game of chicken at this intersection. If one faint hearted person stops, traffic stops and wrecks begin. The chamber will encourage the city, Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission, TXDot, county and the federal government to pool funding to move this project forward along with the other 14 projects on our list.

Summer is here but the chamber will continue its efforts to assist and encourage economic development for our city and area. If you want to be part of this team call 409-963-1107 and speak with Paige Snyder.

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