The monthly meeting of the City Council in West Orange was held Monday. New two-year agreements with AshBritt and Tetra Tech were approved by the council to perform debris removal in the future. West Orange avoided any damage from the rains of Imelda, but the agreements will be in place for any future cleanup of debris like happened after Harvey.
At the recommendation of Mayor Roy McDonald, former council member Frances Lopez and the city’s Code Enforcement Officer Dean Fuller were appointed to serve on the West Orange Fair Housing Authority Committee. Lopez will be the representative for the citizens, and Fuller will represent the property owners. The committee meets at least once a year.
The City Council followed the recommendation of City Secretary Theresa Van Meter and unanimously approved terminating the interlocal cooperation contract for Failure to Appear Program with Omni. Van Meter said it was costing West Orange more money to collect the funds connected to the warrant serving program than the revenues the city received from it.
The program for several years was initially beneficial to the city. New wording in the contract made collecting the money now mandatory if West Orange remained in the program. Most of the funds collected would actually go to other agencies or companies.
The City Council approved four revisions to the city’s Employee Policy. The changes were mostly just in the wording in sections covering life insurance, sick leave benefits, and leave of absence without pay.
Orange County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jessica Hill spoke to the council at the beginning of the meeting about positive economic news for West Orange. An item directly related to West Orange is the development of the waste-water treatment facility that was approved for a five million dollar grant. Hill could not provide the name, but said a national brand company will be moving to West Orange in the very near future.
The biggest item is Chevron-Phillips Chemical possibly building its new plant near West Orange would have a significant impact on the city according to Hill. “I think that we need to be considering what that’s going to turn Orange County to, what are we looking at five, ten years from now and making sure that we’re preparing for those circumstances in the future, but I think that there are great things ahead for the community,” Hill assured.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-