Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Partnership Benefits City of Port Arthur
and is Recognized by U.S. Conference of Mayors
Port Arthur, TX – At its annual meeting in D.C., the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) recognized the Mayor of Port Arthur, Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, and the law firm of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP for their partnership that has helped jump start the revitalization of the city.
The city and Linebarger Goggan received the organization’s 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award in Public/Private Partnerships. This is the fourth year that Linebarger Goggan has received the award.
“I am delighted that USCM has recognized the commitment of the City of Port Arthur in its efforts to make Port Arthur a cleaner and safer city through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP),” said Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince. “Through this program, the city has seized over 200 vacant or dangerous and dilapidated tax delinquent properties to be redeveloped by community housing organizations, other government or non-profit agencies and the private sector. This program evolved from a partnership with Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP and Jefferson County in establishing a land bank program before NSP funds were available. Again, we are highly honored by this recognition.”
This joint venture was forged in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike as the city began rebuilding after the devastation of the storm. While Linebarger Goggan had long served the community as its delinquent tax attorney, partner Clayton Mayfield looked for other ways to help support the city’s efforts. The city had created an incubator area, hoping to encourage various businesses and non-profit groups to focus their energies so as to have a real impact. Over several months, Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince and Clayton Mayfield worked with taxing entities, non-profits and business groups to utilize a tax sale process to help the city clear vacant lots and make them available for future reinvestment. Through this process, Port Arthur was able to purchase properties using a Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Plan grant.
Some of the properties have been reconstructed for low-to-moderate income families, while others are the focus of private-sector residential and commercial redevelopment. Housing financial assistance programs have also been put in place to promote homeownership among many people whose lives were changed substantially.
“This award serves to recognize the efforts of Mayor Prince and numerous persons dedicated to improving the City of Port Arthur,” added Linebarger Goggan partner Clayton Mayfield. “We are honored to be part of that effort.”