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$2.7million project to locate in Orange

By Dawn Burleigh

Dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com

 

A Public Hearing during the Tuesday morning Orange City Council meeting concerned the annexation of 5.289 acre tract along the west right of way line of State Hwy. 62 and northwesterly along Interstate 10.

A location a of $2.7 million project.

A business currently located in Beaumont wants to relocate to Orange next to the truck stop, Flyin’ J.

The City Council conducted a public hearing on the proposed annexation of the Blue Beacon. The second public hearing is planned for September 29.

A representative of the company said he hopes the business will be up and running prior to the end of the lease for the current location. The lease ends in six months.

The company plans to recruit employees from Orange and will employ 40-50 persons.

Blue Beacon owns and operates over 100 truck wash locations across the US and Canada. Each location is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to its official website.

The council also approved hotel/motel occupancy funding for 2017 fiscal year as follows:

Lutcher Theater $50,000

Friends of the Orange Depot $25,000

Heritage House $30,000

Chamber of Commerce

– Mardi Gras Parade $8,000

– National Fishing Tournament $30,000

– Sabine Riverfront Festival $5,000

– High School Fishing Tournament $5,000

Convention and Visitors Bureau $416,000

Future Tourism Related Events $30,000

Gulf Coast Cajun Annual Festival $5,000

Orange Trade Days $5,000

Riverfront Boardwalk/Pavilion landscape maintenance $15,000

SETAC Off-Ramp Magazine $10,000

Council member Annette Pernell said she felt the depot deserved more funding.

“They are still in the restoration phase,” Pernell said. “Let’s help them help us.”

The Orange Depot, at the time the application was submitted, was in need of $200,000 additional funds to finish the entire project, including the construction of the museum exhibits.

Representatives from each group spoke during the public hearing except for the Lutcher Theater. Representatives of the theater were at a prior engagement and unable to attend.

The council discussed requests for reserving city parks for events in the future.

City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre told the council the decision they made today would affect decisions down the road.

The council opted to table the agenda item. By doing so, a group or organization may not reserve the exclusive use of a city park nor make temporary improvements such as erecting a tent.

If reserving a park, a group would be subject to requirements such as those at the Pavilion requiring a $200 clean up fee, and insurance for the event. The city usually requests a minimum of a $2 million policy for such events.

Council member Larry Spears Jr said people were using the park for events now such as the Labor Day weekend event at Navy’s Park.

“Can we at least get the grass cut for them?” Spears asked.

Oubre, during the City Manager report section of the meeting, told the council a church had approached the city concerning community service. The church would perform community service instead of meeting during at least one Sunday a month.

Councilmember Wayne Guidry reported West Orange Cove CISD was up 1-percent in the number of students from the previous year.

“I did some research and discovered we had 30-50 less African Americans, 30-50 less Whites and 60 more Hispanics,” Guidry said.