The Orange City Council approved an offer from the Stark Foundation for riverfront development property at their regular meeting Tuesday night at Orange Fire Department Substation #3. The meeting was part of neighborhood meetings the council was sponsoring for the week.

Jay Trahan, Orange Economic Development Corporation executive director, said the property is for the boardwalk and pavilion portion of the project. The land exchange is for certain land that is owned by the city and located at 806 Front Avenue.

The council approved an ordinance closing the railroad crossing at Elm Avenue, Pine Avenue, Cypress Avenue, Orange Avenue, John Avenue and Church Street at the Riebeck crossing in connection with the Texas Department of Transportation Interstate 10 roadway project.

The plan is to extend the Interstate 10 service roads and add two railroad crossings on the north and south sides of the interstate contingent of closing the six existing crossing in the city.

A resolution calling for the closing of the railroad crossing at Elm and Cypress was approved by the city council on Jan. 25, 2011 in relation to the TxDOT project and the creation of a quiet zone in the city of Orange.

An ordinance allowing a building and fence at 65 Green Avenue was approved.

The structures will encroach into the Green Avenue right-of-way. The ordinance also allows a fence at the west right-of-way line of Pier Road.

The request is from Signal International from Dec. 13, 2005, granting Jarvis Buckley the right to encroach into the right-of-way.

Buckley has since sold the property to Signal, who in turn is asking to fence the original building that encroached into the right-of-way and will continue around the end of the property to encroach the west right-of-way line of Pier Road.

The council approved a resolution accepting the bid of $76,305 for Durcon, LLC of Orange for the various water/sewer connections in the Little Cypress area.

City staff went out for bids for water and sewer connections for various residential properties, connecting the residential properties to the city systems in the annexed are of Little Cypress. The project will be entirely funded with Community Development Block Grant funds, according to a city staff memo.

Last at the meeting, Councilwoman Annette Pernell was appointed as Mayor Pro Tem of the city council. She replaces Jeff Holland in the position who resigned from the council.

In the next portion of the meeting, the council took question from neighborhood residents at the meeting.

One resident was concerned about drivers running red lights. He believes it’s a dangerous practice and causes accidents. He added he would like to the see the State of Texas address the issue much as they addressed the seat belt issue.

Another resident said she was frustrated by the “very deep” ruts on Front Avenue near the Orange Public Library. She was also concerned with the way traffic lights cycle on 16th Street and about the abandoned train depot on Green Avenue and 11th Street.

Mayor Brown Claybar said it would be tough to tear down the depot because of its historical value.

City Manager Shawn Oubre said the city has added padding to the ruts on Front Avenue. He added the city had an “intense disagreement” with the property owner who owns the railroad tracks.

Another resident wanted traffic lights installed on the stretch of MacArthur Drive between 16th Street and MacArthur Circle, especially since a child was killed on the road last year in front of Whataburger.

Oubre said the road is controlled by the state. The resident responded she has already contacted TxDOT about the issue.

Another resident said he was concerned about Acadian Ambulances passing vehicles on the right side of the road when their emergency lights are activated. He also said the ambulances sometimes didn’t stop when the red flashing lights are activated when a school bus is stopped.

One final question from the audience had to do with a question about council representation.

Oubre said though the councilmen represent different districts of the city, each will listen to citizens’ complaints or comments.