Orange announces Event Manager/EDC Assistant

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A woman from Orange will return to Orange after being selected as the Event Manager/Economic Development Corporation Assistant for the City of Orange.

Leigh Anne Dallas thanked everyone involved in the interviewing process during the Tuesday morning city council meeting.

“I look forward to creating unforgettable experiences for Orange,” Dallas said. 

Dallas has worked in Lake Charles and Houston. 

“I want to be part of the change in our community,” Dallas said. 

Mayor Larry Spears Jr. said it was good to bring someone from here back home.

“From the Facebook posts I read, I kept hearing ‘I may be interested in coming back’,” Spears said. 

The council also approved the first step in a pilot program to create reinvestment zones in Orange. The residential Tax Abatement Program is to promote the development and/or redevelopment in certain areas of the city.

“The first step I to pass a resolution of interest,” Director of Planning and Development Kelvin Knauf said. “The second step is to decide what areas. It has to be renewed every five years.”

Councilmember Terrie Salter asked, “Is this similar to the program in Vidor?”

City Manager Mike Kunst confirmed it was similar to Pride and Progress in Vidor.

Vidor City Council passed ordinances in January 2016 for the purpose of designating areas by zone for residential tax abatements. A total of five zones were selected.

Tax abatements for new residential construction were for a seven-year period, with the builder having two years of 100 percent abatement of city taxes to build and sell. A homeowner received:

Year 1 – 100 percent

Year 2 – 100 percent

Year 3 – 90 percent

Year 4 – 75 percent

Year 5 – 60 percent

Year 6 – 45 percent

Year 7 – 20 percent

The program also waived building permits for new construction and provide dumpsters during construction, a savings of approximately $1,800. 

The program designed to rebuild pride within the city while repairing blighted areas and encouraging growth in underdeveloped areas has already shown a positive impact on the city, according to previously published Orange Leader articles.

An official name for the Orange program has yet to be determined as it is in the initial stages.