(Orange, Texas)

July 24, 2013

Safety a priority in West Orange

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

WEST ORANGE — Citizens complaints of children blocking the roads while playing basketball and blocking the roads lead the City Council to pass an ordinance prohibiting placing recreational equipment on or with five feet of the street pavement.

The ordinance is in full force and effective after it’s passage during the West Orange City Council 5:30 p.m. Monday meeting.

“We have had complaints of goals and kids in the street,” Mayor Roy McDonald said. “Playing in the streets, the kids will get hurt.”

Chief of Police Michael Stelly said the ordinance is a safety factor.

“The kids won’t move for the traffic,” Stelly said. “Streets are made for cars.”

Stelly said the city wants compliance with the ordinance.

The council also nominated five individuals for the ballot of the Orange County Appraisal District’s Board of Directors. Those nominated are Lyndia Gunstream, Hughie Allen, Laura Floyd, Nancy Ashworth and Virginia Fawcett. The board serves a two year term beginning on January 1 of even numbered years. The deadline to submit the nominations is October 15, 2013.

The council approved authorizing City Secretary Theresa Van Meter to renew the employees health, dental vision, life and  accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage with Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Employees’ Benefit Pool. The increase in cost for coverage increased by 3%.

The increase in cost of insurance coverage affects the West Orange budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year.

“We planned for a 10% increase,” Van Meter said. “We just found out it would be 3%, which made us very happy.”

The mayor said West Orange has the lowest tax rate of a full service city in Orange County.

West Orange will hold a Budget Hearing on August 26.

The next city council meeting will be 5:30 p.m. Monday, August 12 at 2700 Western Avenue in West Orange.