Some 52 of 179 homes in the Navy Park Historic District damaged by Hurricane Rita three years ago will be demolished and replaced, probably starting in 30 to 45 days.

Orange City Manager Shawn Oubre spoke Monday to commissioners, who were required to approve the project.  
“These houses are so far gone there is no use in saving them,” Oubre said.

ITEX Management, headed by Ike Akbari and his son Chris, will be contracted out with hurricane relief funds from the Office of Rural Community Affairs, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The organizations brought in about $17 million to the community, Oubre said.

“There will be six houses mandated to be retained,” Oubre said. “They will always be there to show how the original houses were constructed. Nobody will be displaced or housed against their wishes. The city feels this will be an addition to living conditions in that area.”

This project essentially began when congressmen and other officials toured the area after the storm in 2005, he said.

All the units will have garages, he said. He added that lots large enough may be built into duplex or four-plex units.

“The county was real good to work with us in supporting this project,” Oubre said after the meeting.

In other business, commissioner approved the addition of “No wake” signs on the first oxbow of Adams Bayou north of the DuPont Drive Bridge. A resident had requested it, said Judge Pro-Tem John Dubose, sitting in for Judge Carl Thibodeaux. 

Commissioners took no action on a item requesting a relocation of auctions sponsored by the county from the rear steps of the courthouse. The wording in the agenda did not include bank foreclosure sales, and will be added for the next agenda. Attorney Doug Manning, who advises commissioners, said the new location might be the steps at the front of the sheriff’s department. The present location is too noisy and susceptible to bad weather, Manning said.