Proposal tabled on Riverfront improvements

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

By Martha Tallent

The Orange Leader

Much discussion was had concerning the design and construction of a new pavilion, rest rooms, and green room facilities to the current amenities at Riverfront Park during the Tuesday evening Orange City Council meeting. Scheduled events require, at this time, that porta-johns be rented for the public, and entertainers do not have a green room area. The current proposal is to complete the original design of the park. Assistant City Manager, Director od Economic Development Jay Trahan gave details to include the use of natural light to reduce electric cost, as well as the durability of the construction materials for potential future floods.

The design would also fit in with surrounding landscape and facilities. This proposal would use the Hotel Tax Funds for the construction and would meet all the requirements for its use. City Manager Dr. Shawn Ourbe cautioned, though, that if the design is amended from the proposed original design then it may not meet the requirements for using the Hotel Tax Funds. The council decided to table this proposal until they could research it further, as this design was approved by a prior council.

The council considered, and approved, an ordinance amending the adopted budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2015, and ending on September 30, 2016, in accordance with the Charter of the City or Orange. Orange resident Leslie Barras questioned why budgeted items for improvements to City Hall were not held in a more open forum. This is in regards to the purchase of the First Financial Bank building on 16th Street. City Councilwoman Annette Pernell asked if the amendment to the proposed budget to purchase this building could be reevaluated.

Ourbe said that the City of Orange is already under contract to purchase the building, and whether it will be approved is now contingent upon the court’s decision in the matter.

Consideration and approval was given for granting a franchise to Piney Woods Sanitation, Inc. to operate a commercial closed container garbage collection service in the City of Orange, providing the terms, conditions, obligations, and limitation of such service; providing indemnity to the City, retaining authority to regulate rates; providing for franchise payments; and providing for severability.

The council considered and approved a resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. in the amount of $71,100 for professional engineering services for new water well and tank improvements construction phase. This would add a third well and tank, to be constructed on Richard Drive.

The Historic Preservation Board will continue to have appointed to them Ben Meadows and Harry Wood, both to serve a term ending September 24, 2018.

The Orange Economic Development Corporation’s motion authorizing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget was approved by the council, as well as a motion acknowledging receipt of the Quarterly Investment Report for the period ending June 30, 2016.

The Council considered and passed a motion authorizing the monthly transfer of funds from the City of Orange to the City of Orange Employee Benefits Trust to pay for employee-related benefits.