orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Government

August 10, 2013

Annexation for billboard facing citizen opposition

ORANGE — An annexation of .0684 acres located at Interstate 10 West and Farm to Market 1136 is facing citizen opposition.

The owners, Sam and Linda Owens, made the request to the city for the purpose of erecting a billboard at that site.

A citizen at a recent public hearing concerning the annexation spoke out against it.

Henry Lowe, president of the Orange African American Museum, said he is concerned about the annexation.

“I have a feeling that after the annexation, a friendly donation will be made,” Lowe said. “I am concerned the billboard will be given permanently to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.”

Lowe also said that he does not have proof and he is speculating.

“The location is almost in Vidor, why not ask Vidor for the annexation,” Lowe said. “I just want it on record that the minority community is against it. There is no value to the city that I see for this annexation.”

Lowe said he felt better that the City Manager Shawn Oubre said the council could have the matter returned to the staff to look at again.

Sam Owens said he is confused by the comments made at the public hearing.

“It is simply not true,” Owens said, “I have no idea where it came from.”

Owens said he asked for the annexation for the billboard as a source of extra revenue.

“I spoke with the billboard company and they said they have not pre-leased the sign to anyone,” Owens said.

Owens also said he is speaking with a lawyer concerning the accusations.

Messages left concerning rental rates and duration of lease for a billboard at that location were not returned by press time.

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