Seeing progress in Orange

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It’s nice to see some good things moving forward in Orange these days… besides AstroTurf.


Medical Center

Last week the City of Orange announced that the owner of a 250-acre property on Interstate-10 offered to donate 20 acres to the EDC for use as an added incentive for development. And to add even more good news, it was announced that a group of medical professionals and investors had signed up to take advantage of the incentives and develop medical facilities there.

According to an Orange Leader article, back in 2016, the Tony Houseman Companies agreed to donate 20 acres of land at Eagle Point, Interstate 10 in Orange, during an Orange City Council Meeting. The contingency was that a road, 80’ wide and 1200’ long, be put in allowing for access to the land for the purpose of economic development. The Council passed the measure, with the use of funds not to exceed $650,000, if a big box anchor company or something similar could be found to build there, drawing smaller businesses in around it. This was a one-year contract for the expansion process to begin, and has been extended a few times since then.

The city has since built a new water station and water tower for the area, and last year the EDC board and City Council again approved spending up to $425,000 in economic development money on a four-lane boulevard entrance into the acreage.

It was with prudence that the city’s EDC made the approval contingent on good prospects for the development to actually happen. That now looks like a strong potential.

It has been a while since we lost our hospital in Orange, and some of our doctors also left town. It’s refreshing to see these positive steps being taken to help get Orange back on her feet.


Orange Train depot

Over $650,000 was raised to renovate the old Train Depot which sat in derelict conditions for many years downtown. The Friends of the Orange Depot did an excellent job and we now have another major asset in the downtown campus district of Orange.

The intent has been to create a museum that would highlight the economic growth of Orange. In addition to the railroads, three other industries (timber, shipbuilding, and petrochemical) were chosen for representation. Unfortunately, it has taken longer than expected to fund the implementation of the museum portion of the Depot.

 Next month a committee will be meeting with professional designers to take the committee requirements and turn them into real plans on paper so that the process can continue. The use of the building as both a museum of industry and a community resource for getting together will be planned and drawn out so that the committee can start looking for bids.

By the end of summer, there could be formal plans laid out and a schedule for implementation approved.

In the meantime, the use of the restored depot will continue to provide lasting memories of downtown Orange to participants in the many weddings, baby showers, and business meetings that are taking place there right in the heart of the downtown campus district.


Green’s Bluff

Penny Wheeler has formally announced the commencement of work renovating an entire block of land in the downtown Historic District, immediately north of the Orange Train Depot. You can see some of the early work on their Facebook page for “Green’s Bluff – Old Historic Orange”.


In her announcement, Penny says, “We are working hard to bring back a place for Orange to enjoy one another, shop and eat right here, at HOME. A place to linger. We hope you’ll join us in nurturing our city, supporting all local businesses and watching Orange grow once again.”

Let’s all go” LIKE” her page and support their efforts to improve economic development in the City of Orange…and the quality of life.


Keep Orange County Beautiful

In addition to several other projects, KOCB participated in March alongside Shangri La Botanical Gardens for the annual Trash Off project. The KOCB side of the program was the collection of waste tires that collect water and mosquitoes, pose significant fire hazards, and do not bio-degrade if placed in a landfill. Several hundred tires were collected for recycling, at no cost to the City of Orange. Funding comes from Southeast Texas Resource Conservation and Development Council using Special Environmental Project money from TCEQ (TX Commission on Environmental Quality).

Now, the City of Vidor has joined in and KOCB will be holding a waste tire and scrap metal collection and recycling project in Vidor on July 27.

Talks are also happening in Bridge City with both the City Council and the Rotary Club for holding a similar collection and recycling program in the fall.



There is an anonymous quote which says, “There are only two options: Make progress or make excuses.” In the cases referred to above, we appear to be making great progress. Let’s hope the progress spreads even more and there will be less excuses being made elsewhere.


  1. David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through, an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at