The Orange City Council Tuesday began the disannexation process to remove 427 acres at the request of Chevron-Phillips.
The company has announced the acreage off Highway 87 South between FM 105 and FM 1006 is a finalist for the site of a new $5 billion chemical plant.
The disannexation will allow the company to request the county to make it a re-investment zone for tax abatements and incentives.
“We want to do everything possible” to get the new plant, Mayor Larry Spears said after the vote.
Interim City Manager Kelvin Knauf said the vacant acreage now brings in about $12,000 in property taxes.
If Chevron-Phillips builds the plant in Orange, the company will work out an industrial district contract with the city to make in-lieu-of-taxes payments. Other industrial plants on FM 1006 nearby have the industrial district contracts with the city, even though they are outside the city limits.
Knauf said the company is not formally committed to building the plant in Orange. An announcement of the construction site should be made next summer.
Terry Woodson, municipal marketing manager for Waste Management told the council the company will be using a lift truck for garbage pickup in residential areas. The 2018 model truck will replace the ones with employees riding on the back and manually emptying the trash carts.
This past November, Waste Management worker Derrick Cane of Beaumont was killed when a motorist ran into the back of the garbage truck where he was working. The accident was on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, which is a state farm-to-market road.
Earlier this year, another Waste Manager worker was seriously injured on Old Highway 90 in Orange.
Woodson brought one of the trucks to show the council how it lifted and emptied with workers inside the truck cap operating the lift.
She said she has been through the Old Orange Historic District checking out the low-lying, century old live oak trees to see how the truck will operate. Some customers may need to find a place for their carts away from trees.
In addition, the company is working out a system to pick up along one-way streets because the trucks operate only from the right side.
In other business, the council honored Alice Norwood for her years of service on the Citizens Advisory Committee. Mayor Spears presented her with a certificate and said she lived across the street from him as he was growing up. He said she is an example of “it takes a village.”
The council gave final approval for a $55,000 economic development corporation grant to Michael Rhines and Real Southern Cooking at 1111 Green Avenue. The grant will be reimbursed to Rhines after the improvement work is completed.
Also, the council approved a proclamation making June 19 Juneteenth Day in Orange. The city is helping sponsor a downtown Juneteenth celebration this weekend on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The Reverend Develous Bright accepted the proclamation and asked council members to ride in the parade which will start 9 a.m. Saturday at the south end of the Boat Ramp property along Simmons Drive near Green Avenue.
The parade with horses will go west on Green Avenue and then turn south on Fifth Street before ending at the Riverfront Pavilion. Activities will include live entertainment, a barbecue cookoff and a children’s area.
-Magaret Toal, KOGT-