Orange city councilors and citizens Tuesday talked about trash and people who dump old items in public places. The comments came during a regular council meeting. Mayor Larry Spears Jr. even said he wants to review the trash ordinances to address people “that disrespect our community.”
A citizen who lives in the 1500 block of Orange Avenue behind the new city hall said people are discarding junk furniture and mattresses in the alleyways in the neighborhood. “It really looks bad,” he said.
At-Large Position 6 Councilor Paul Burch said he has also had complaints about trash and discarded items placed on the Entergy property along Link Avenue near Park Avenue. “It looks like a dump,” he said.
Single-Member District 3 Councilor Terrie Salter is working with the Keep Orange Beautiful group and they will have a clean-up from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, January 25. Volunteers are invited to pick up trash along streets.
Also, Single-Member District 2 Councilor Brad Childs said $100 million has been made available for businesses affect by the Harvey flood in 2017. The Texas Back in Business fund is for grants that do not have to be repaid.
Childs, who owns a hardware store, said the program is worth checking out.
Most of the council meeting, which was the first in more than a month because of the holidays, was filled with routine business.
The council conducted a public hearing, with no comments, on a replat of a subdivision outside the city limits but in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. The request was from Steven Chachere for Woodshire Manor Section 2 on Florence Drive.
Chachere requested turning six lots into one lot. The council agreed to the change. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission previously approved the plan.
The council also re-appointed Tiffany Bell to the Board of Adjustment.
Emergency Management Coordinator Lee Anne Brown told the council about the next step on a flood buyout for 3702 Huntwick Drive in the Hillbrook subdivision. The house and land had flooded numerous times even before Harvey and the 2016 Sabine River Flood.
Brown said the Bellons have spent five years working on the buyout. The last step will be an appraisal so the owners can be reimbursed.
In other business, the council approved a contract to LD Construction for $154,856 for the Allie Payne Road repair project. Also, a contract for $167,703 was awarded to Elite Contractors and Equipment for $168,703.
Public Works Director Jim Wolf said the two contracts went to the second-lowest bidders. The low bidders on both projects did not meet all the specifications the city requires.
The council also appoved extending a contract with MuniServices for monitoring sales tax and hotel occupancy tax payments to the city. The city will negotiate a new contract during the summer.
The council met in closed-door executive session to hear updates on the status of the proposed $5.3 billion new Chevron Phillips chemical plant. No action was taken in open session.
Before the council meeting, the City of Orange Economic Development Corporation board of directors took no action Tuesday on a grant contract for construction of a riverfront restaurant. The deadline for Jake Lemoine to complete the construction remains at March 1.
Lemoine, who currently operates Boardwalk Grille in the old Southern Printers building on Fifth Street, has an EDC grant of up to $200,000 for construction of a $1 million restaurant along the riverfront boardwalk. The grant for infrastructure like water and sewer lines is reimbursible. It will be paid after the expenses are submitted to the EDC.
The EDC board met in closed-door executive session to discuss the contract and then took no action.
Lemoine’s plan first went before the EDC and Orange City Council in February 2018 and he has successfully been granted deadline extensions.
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-