Orange’s expected business, commercial growth leads to new city position

Published 12:14 am Friday, February 10, 2023

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Orange City Manager Mike Knust is expecting rise in city activity over the next five years with the polymers project and other expected similar projects.

Due to the increased expected workload it is recommended that the position of deputy director for the planning and community development department be created. The position was that it would be better to start the job search now than wait until the workload increased.

A motion was made and passed to create the position.

In other economic news, the EDC had taken action Jan. 10 to withdraw a $167,000 incentive from Free State Cellars. The owners stated the infrastructure improvements were not moving along as had been expected.

Orange Economic Development Director Jay Trahan said the city and owners agreed the funds could be removed now and another agreement could be worked out if, later, the project could resume.

In other business:

• City Finance Director Cheryl Zeto made a presentation recommending that the city purchase membership in the Texas Smart/Buy Program. This would have a positive effect on the city’s ability to purchase needed supplies, etc. It was approved.

• Public Works Director Adam Jack recommended that the council approve a contract to purchase the required amount of chlorine needed to treat the city’s water system for the upcoming year. It was approved.

The next item of business presented by Jack concerned executing a change order with MK Constructors for the Greenway Park Drainage Improvement in connection with the American Rescue Plan Act funds. Jack stated the project should be completed in the spring.

Next from Jack was an item about Riverside Pavilion drainage Improvements and placement of bollards. The projects would be undertaken by Triangle Civil Services. Spears said the placement of the bollards could be considered a safety item since it would restrict the movement of types of motorized four-wheelers and other such vehicles through the pavilion grounds. This item was passed.

Jack presented a request for a resolution for the city manager to enter into an agreement with Arceneaux, Wilson and Cole for an amount not to exceed $355,000 for professional engineering services for Cooper’s Gully Phase 2. This covers the section from Navy Park to 8th Street. The resolution was approved by council.

• The city has six Chevrolet Tahoe, three Ford 150, one Ford F750, one Ingersol Rand Air Compressor, and one Ford 555D Backhoe vehicles that have been declared no longer needed and have been replaced. The council approved a motion for the vehicles be disposed of by auction through Rene’ Bates Auctioneer, Inc. at a date to be determined.

• A motion was passed to extend the contract between the city and Ashbritt, Inc. to end August 26, 2023. Ashbritt is the contractor that cleans up storm debris after major events like hurricanes.

— Written by Mike Louviere