Orange continues to work on budget

Published 6:02 pm Friday, August 31, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Orange Economic Development and the City of Orange approved an agreement withy Triangle Rescue for the expenditure of funds for infrastructure improvements at 3875 Interstate 10 in Orange.

The facility will provide seven full time positions and 30 part time positions.

Eli Tant, owner of Swamp and River Tours, spoke to the Orange City Council to announce the company has returned to Orange after nine long years.

“We choose Orange because it is a unique area. Our tours are from Pine Bluff to Orange,” Tant said. “The problem for us was a hurricane.”

He said the salt water inundating the area affected the floral along the water’s edge leaving it dead looking.

“The Deweyville flood flushed the area out and revitalized it,” Tant said. “We came back to reopen it.”

Tant added people also came to visit the mom and pop stores in Orange.

“Being a nerd, this is one of the first things I did when I moved to Orange,” Council member Annette Pernell said about the tours. “If you have the opportunity, I encourage everyone to go.”

Pernell added Tant was very knowledgeable about the area.

The first of two public hearings concerning the proposed tax rate for 2018/2019 fiscal year was held on Tuesday.

While no citizens spoke during the hearing, the mayor said he wanted to reiterate the staff and council were still looking at ways to cut the budget so as to not raise taxes. The proposed rate is .83004.

A second Public Hearing will be held at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Orange Public Library Auditorium.

The final vote on the tax rate will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Orange Public Library Auditorium.

McInnis Construction was awarded a contract in the amount of $41,535.70 for the Radio-Read meter Change-Out Project for fiscal year 2018.

The 109 locations are paid for by grant funds as the city continues the transition to change out all the meters to Radio-Read.

“The transition takes a while because of the cost,” Director of Public Works and Engineering Department James B. “Jim” Wolf, P.E., R.P.L.S. said. “The cost is higher this time because some of the meters are located in concrete.”

At this time, approximately 40-percent, 6,800, of the meters in Orange are Radio-Read.

Council was also presented with a presentation on a plan for making 16th Street clean, inviting, and safe for citizens and visitors.

Suggestions presented by Director of Planning and Community Development Kelvin Knauf were not discussed by the council as to allow them time to study the plan further.