The City Council adopted the budget and approved the tax rate for West Orange on Monday. The budget will be $3,673,904 for the new fiscal year. The approved tax rate is $0.470 cents per $100 assessed value. The new fiscal year starts in October.
A $6.25 million EDA Disaster Recovery grant was discussed by the council. Mayor Roy McDonald explained the details of the grant is to rehabilitate and rebuild the water treatment plant in West Orange. The agreement is a joint effort between the city, the Orange County Water Control & Improvement District #2 (OCWCID#2), and the Orange County Port and Navigation District. “I think it’s well timed, we’ve needed it for a long time,” McDonald stated.
The grant will be handled by Traylor and Associates led by Melinda Smith who has handled the initial phases of the grant. Arceneaux, Wilson, and Cole were selected to be the engineers for designing the project.
Councilman Brent Dearing asked if West Orange could request the contractors to provide some landscaping around the water treatment plant so it is not the first thing people see as they come into the city on Western Avenue. McDonald said they could ask later when a contractor is chosen.
An interlocal agreement between the city, the water district, and the port district was approved by the City Council on Monday. The agreement stipulates the responsibilities of each entity and their financial responsibilities.
The board of directors for the OCWCID #2 was meeting simultaneously in its office with Smith of Traylor and Associates. After a lengthy discussion the water district’s board voted to table the interlocal agreement.
The board requested Smith arrange a meeting with representatives from all three entities to discuss the details of the grant and the portions to be paid by each entity. The grant project is for over $6 million of which the Economic Development Administration or EDA will pay for about $5 million of the work with the three entities responsible for the remainder.
No date or time was set for the possible meeting. Smith indicated she would like to include the City of West Orange’s Public Works Director Mike Stelly in the meeting. Stelly is recovering from an injury suffered in an accident.
In other business the City Council approved the Articles of Agreement between the West Orange Municipal Police Association and the city. The police union had already signed and ratified the agreement. The grievous procedure and the arbitration process were changed in the new contract.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-