The City of West Orange canvassed the votes on Monday from this month’s municipal election. After the results were confirmed, City Attorney Rex Peveto swore in three members of the City Council.
Mayor Roy McDonald has already served a quarter of a century as the mayor of West Orange. McDonald said he is not ready yet to quit helping his city. “I might still be able to help the citizens of our city, I don’t want to give up, I’m going to keep trying,” McDonald affirmed.
Randy Branch was appointed last year to the council to fill the unexpired term of Carl Thibodeaux who resigned to become the Municipal Judge for West Orange. Branch is thankful the citizens reconfirmed his appointment by electing him to serve a full-term as alderman.
Brent Dearing likewise is excited to be elected to his first term on the West Orange City Council. Dearing has lived his whole life in West Orange, he loves the city, and is ready to start serving her more directly on the City Council. The first item of business for the council was selecting Shirley Bonnin to continue as the Mayor Pro-Tempore.
West Orange is seeking grants for funding improvements to the city’s infrastructure. During a public hearing Melinda Smith with Traylor & Associates explained the funds available for infrastructure improvements. The city has over ten million dollars that can be used on projects. A survey by the city corrected an error in the 2010 census data concerning the low to moderate income in West Orange. Smith stated the survey showed just under 78 percent of the population was low to moderate income. “Any citywide projects will provide that level of benefit that’s required just by default,” Smith confirmed.
Projects to be covered by the previous grant funds include the relocation and elevation of the sewer plant in West Orange for $1.5 million. The funds would also cover a flood and drainage study for $2.4 million. Approximately $1.9 million would be used for improvements to 16 streets in the city.
The City Council on Monday approved Traylor & Associates for administrative services regarding a new grant application. The city is applying for a Fire, Ambulance, Service Truck grant, also known by the acronym FAST Funds.
The FAST program is relatively new and is administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture. The application for that grant was approved Monday. The grant for equipment and improvements to the West Orange Fire Department could be for as much as $500,000. West Orange would have a matching requirement of $5,000.
At the beginning of the meeting the City Council approved a proclamation recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in West Orange. Julian Danner headed a group of motorcyclists that thanked the council for the proclamation.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
photo by Matt Chandler