The City of West Orange swore in three members of the City Council on Monday. Shirley Bonnin, Dale Dardeau, and Mike Shugart, Senior received their oaths of office from City Attorney Rex Peveto. The three incumbents were the only candidates and allowed West Orange to cancel the general election. Bonnin was elected by the council to serve another term as Mayor Pro-Tempore.
The results from the special charter election were canvassed at the meeting on Monday. Only one proposition, Number 3, to no longer require the municipal judge to live in West Orange failed. One vote was corrected on Proposition 3, but it did not change the result.
The City Council approved awarding the contract to the Lark Group for the demolition of five properties in West Orange. Mayor Roy McDonald said this hopefully will conclude a process that began about a year ago. The city has received grants to pay for the demolitions and have advertised more than once for bids to tear the houses down only to have no companies submit bids.
The Lark Group submitted the low bid of two companies submitting bids out of eight companies requested to bid. The cost will be about $65,000 to demolish the structures. “We’re looking forward to getting that done and getting these properties cleaned up, we will certainly be glad to see that happen,” McDonald exclaimed.
The residential tax exemptions in West Orange will remain the same as last year. The council approved keeping 20 percent for the Homestead exemption and $17,000 for both the Senior Citizen and the Disabled Citizen exemptions.
Two citizens brought concerns to the City Council. Chester Moore operates the Kingdom Zoo in Pinehurst but lives in West Orange. Moore requested a variance to a city ordinance governing possession of exotic animals in West Orange. He wants to occasionally bring some of the animals to his home temporarily when needed for nursing or to give presentations to children. The council approved a resolution that would allow the variance.
Billy Frederick made two requests. The first was placing two stop signs on Burnet at the intersection with Lansing to help reduce the speed that many vehicles drive on that straight stretch of Burnet. He also asked that the ditch near his home on Burnet have the vegetation cut back to help drainage. The council promised to address both issues.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-