Garbage customers in Orange will be paying $2.50 a month more to support an additional grapple truck to pick up piles of debris.
The Orange City Council Tuesday approved the rate increase. The council last year during budget workshops, agreed to add the grapple truck, plus an employee to operate it.
The city has two grapple trucks that make regular rounds to pick up large piles of trash like limbs and furniture. Each residence is supposed to have the service once a month.
However, the city had been making “hot shots” to pick up large piles of discarded items along roadways. For instance, a pile of old furniture was put out along 16th Street, a major thoroughfare, last summer. The city had many complaints and sent one of the grapple trucks to pick it up.
City Finance Director Cheryl Zeto told the council the truck will cost $190,433, with the city making payments of $42,137 a year for five years. Hiring a full-time employee to operate the truck will cost about $74,500 a year for salary, beneftis, taxes, and workers compensation insurance.
In addition, the city will have to pay maintenance costs on the truck, fuel, insurance, and landfill fees. The total costs of operating the extra truck will be $182,285 a year. The costs averages out to the $2.50 a month charge to each garbage customer.
In other business, the council approved the public service allocations for the 2019 federal Community Development Block Grants. A public hearing on the grants was conducted before the vote.
The city is limited by regulations on how much of the block grant money can be spent on public service.
The grants to serve Orange residents are $6,500 to Greater Orange Area Literacy Service (GOALS), $6,750 to Jackson Community Center, $5,000 to Julie Rogers Gift of Life, $8,000 to Orange Christian Services, $7,000 to Orange Community Action Association (Meals on Wheels program), $6,000 to Samaritan Counseling Center of SETX, $5,000 to Southeast Texas Hospice, and $6,000 to Stable Spirit.
Mayor Larry Spears Jr. presented Salvation Army Captain Jan Zuniga with a proclamation for National Salvation Army Week in the city from May 13-18. The proclamation says the Army “serves the people of Orange with unshakable faith in all, no matter how desperate the situation, and views all people as people with possibilities.”
The council also voted to delay requested rate increases from Entergy for electrical service and CenterPoint Energy for natural gas service.