Orange using $1 million grant to tackle sewer upgrades

Published 12:20 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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“When you get a million dollars, that is great news for the City of Orange.”

That was how Public Works Director Adam Jack responded recently when asked about the city’s recent $1 million grant award for sewer system improvements.

“It is always great to get that money from an outside source. We can use our taxpayers’ dollars and put in 10 percent of a total price and get that much money back over,” Jack said. “These grants do come with a match. That is a great deal for the city and taxpayers of Orange.

“We know we’ve got some issues out there, and I always want to use our money in the best way possible to get other money whenever possible.”

Orange City Manager Mike Kunst, from left, celebrates a $1 million grant award with Texas General Land Office Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, Divon Williams and Kelvin Knauf of the city’s planning department. (Courtesy photo)

The $1 million news was first announced in late March from the Texas General Land Office and is part of a competition grant effort related to 2019 disasters. Orange applied and was chosen.

Orange officials will use the money to target improvements in the Sunset Park area.

According to information from the city, sewer construction improvement should start in the spring of 2024.

“Right now that area is the original subdivision area around Sunset Park,” Jack explained. “As you go into Sunset Park, there is a street system right there that kind of runs around in a circle. That area will be the area under consideration for the sewer improvements.”

He described what’s in place as old clay pipes with brick manholes. The funding is going to be used in an effort to rehabilitate that system.

It could be digging up the pipe and manholes and replacing them entirely. It could be pipe bursting, similar to what was done in the Gardenia Avenue area with the insertion of new pipe. It could be a slip lining where crews create a new pipe inside the existing pipes.

Engineering efforts over the next several months will determine the best way to proceed.

The Orange City Council will ultimately vote on which contractor to assign the construction project to.