Only four of the seven Orange City Council members attended a meeting Tuesday morning and some items of business had to be delayed because of a lack of sufficient votes.
One of the requests was from the Juneteenth Planning Committee that was asking for a Convention and Visitors Bureau grant of $20,150 for a three-day festival at the Riverfront Pavilion downtown. The money comes from the city’s hotel occupancy taxes.
District 4 Councilor Annette Pernell said she was on the committee and could not vote. The grant request needs at least four votes. With Pernell recusing herself, only three people would vote.
Also, the final approval for a $55,000 Economic Development Corporation grant Real Southern Cooking, 1111 Green Avenue, needed five votes.
Pat Pullen, Brad Childs, and Bill Mello were absent from the meeting. Pullen was undergoing major surgery on Tuesday. Mello is being treated for brain cancer and had attended a brief meeting Monday in a wheelchair.
The Reverend Develous Bright of Salem United Methodist Church is on the Juneteenth Planning Committee and told the council about plans for June 14-16, a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The events will include a parade, trail ride, barbecue cookoff (meats start smoking at midnight), entertainment and a Battle of the Choirs.
Sunday will have an “all white worship” service with attendees wearing white. A mass choir of volunteers of “anyone who wants to join” will sing.
Economic Development Director Jay Trahan, who oversees the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the grant is reimbursible, meaning the money is spent and then receipts given to the city for reimbursement. He said the request can be on the May 28 meeting agenda.
District 3 Councilor Terrie Salter said she has attended a meeting of the Juneteenth Planning Committee and asked if she would be allowed to vote. City Attorney Guy Goodson said he will research the question.
Ida Schoscow with the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce asked for $30,000 through the Convention and Visitors Bureau to help sponsor a regional fishing tournament, the Backwater Challenge.
She said there will be 200 two-man teams with all launching from the Orange Boat Ramp. Live music will be on Friday night, with a festival and big-name entertainment on Saturday.
The City of Orange Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors met before the council meeting. Both the EDC board and the council gave preliminary approval of a $350,000 EDC grant to Cypresswood Village subdivision for drainage improvements of a new section being developed.
Trahan said another 40 lots are planned off FM 105. The subdivision is between Highway 87 South and FM 105. The houses built on the lots will be valued at $180,000 to $200,000, Trahan said.
Tuesday, May 14, was officially David Frenzel Day in Orange as Mayor Larry Spears read a proclamation in honor of Frenzel’s 50 years of service with the Orange Fire Department.
The city council meeting was became emotional as tributes to Frenzel came and he thanked his wife, Hildy.
Lainie Brown of the office of U.S. Representative Brian Babin told Frenzel he is now an official part of national history. Babin on Monday had a tribute to the chief placed in the Congressional Record. Brown gave Frenzel a copy of the reading and a U.S. flag that had flown on the Capitol.
The council auditorium, which was nearly full, gave the chief several
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-