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Need for public transportation in Orange

By Martha Tallent

The Orange Leader

 

The City’s need for public transportation was an important subject addressed during the public citizen comments section of the Orange City Council meeting held Tuesday evening.

Orange resident Detra King inquired as to what needs to be done to establish a better public transportation system in Orange.

Southeast Texas Transit, who solely provides bus services, routinely cannot meet the public demand and citizens are required to find alternate transportation at higher costs or to simply walk. There was a meeting of the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission addressing this need held recently, and King was one of only two citizens who attended. She stated that she has been told by Southeast Texas Transit that there are not enough CDL licensed drivers to accommodate the needs of our city. She asked that the City Council please look into this problem and find a viable solution to the city’s public transportation needs.

The official public hearing concerning the City of Orange  juvenile curfew ordinance was also addressed at the Orange City Council meeting. Police Chief Lane Martin addressed those in attendance. The first reading to re-adopt this ordinance then took place, and Chief Martin made the statement that this curfew has been known to decrease juvenile crime in Orange. Only 14 citations were handed out over the last period of three years, versus 44 citations in the three year period prior to that. The juvenile curfew ordinance pertains to ages 6 through 16. Chief Martin will also be addressing students and parents through a school initiative about this ordinance and its influence on our community.

The city council granted a franchise to BFI Waste Services of Texas LP, dba Republic Services of Beaumont, to operate a commercial closed container garbage collection service in the City of Orange; providing the terms, conditions, obligations, and limitations of such service; providing indemnity to the City, retaining authority to regulate rates; providing for franchise payments; and providing for severability.

The city council also granted a franchise to Waste Management of Texas, Inc. to operate a commercial closed container garbage collection service in the City of Orange; providing the terms, conditions, obligations, and limitations of such service; providing indemnity to the City, retaining authority to regulate rates; providing for franchise payments; and providing for severability.

Receipt of the Quarterly Investment Report for the period ending December 31, 2016, was re-acknowledged by the Council. Cheryl Zeto reported that the city’s condition was the same as at the last report, but it needed to be readdressed because of a change that was made in the bank account. The savings account was the same interest as the checking account, but they were being charged a monthly fee. So the savings account was closed and that money transferred to the checking account.