Orange approves DuPont enterprise project
David Ball-For The Record
DuPont Sabine Rivers Works-Orange could soon possibly generate some economic development activity for the city.
The Orange City Council approved a resolution nominating E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company for designation as an Enterprise Project under the Texas Enterprise Zone Program.
Jay Trahan, director of the Orange Economic Development Corporation, said DuPont has been a part of the community since 1946. They currently have 900 employees and 420 contract employees.
DuPont plans to invest $50 million in capital investments at its site over the next five years. This designation is intended as a job retention effort and is critical to its competitiveness in a global market.
Councilwoman Essie Bellfield asked how many Orange residents would be hired in this project. Councilman Dr. Wayne Guidry said the project is just for internal improvements and not a huge expansion project.
Another resolution was approved for the final reading for City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre to execute a development agreement between the city and International Paper Company on Highway 87 N. to provide for the annexation of the land.
The resolution read the Industrial Agreement from Jan. 1, 2005 expired in December, 2014. Both parties were unable to reach agreement for a new IDA.
The Texas Local Government Code authorizes the city council to make a written contract with an owner of land located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction to provide for annexation of land as a whole or in parts.
The company owns 1,160 acres of land and a 30-foot private road connected to the city limits.
The city will provide police, fire and emergency medical services. These services started in 1968. The company waived services for solid waste collection, operation and maintenance of water and wastewater facilities, operation and maintenance of roads and streets including street lighting and operation and maintenance of parks, playgrounds and swimming pools.
The term of agreement will be effective from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2030, unless sooner terminated.
Oubre said this is a voluntary annexation and it should be a relief to the company because they were paying sales tax to the Orange County Emergency Services District #3 and they’re no longer required to pay another ad valorem tax to another entity.
The city will enter into an agreement with Fitz & Shipman, Inc. for $40,025 for professional engineering services for State Highway 62 water extension to the Texas Department of Transportation office building.
Plans are to extend a 12-inch water line with alternate bid for a four-inch water line on SH 62 from 900 feet north of Interstate 10 North Frontage northward to the TxDOT office, 2,500 feet.
Also approved was the Orange Economic Development Corporation to expend funds not to exceed $48,000 for the upsizing to a 12-inch waterline along SH 62.
The upsizing will ensure adequate fire protection when required in the future and to promote new or expanded business development.
Trahan by upgrading, there potential for future business deals.
The council approved a resolution to execute a Standard Utility Agreement with TxDOT for the relocation of the existing waterline along Bob Hall Road.
The relocation of the waterlines is part of the IH-10 Project. The state will pay $49,000 to relocate 800 linear feet of existing waterline and $54,000 for the engineering and inspections for a total of $103,000.
Also related was a resolution approved for an agreement with Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. for $54,000 for professional engineering service for the Bob Hall Road water utility relocation.
Services include preparation of plans and specifications for construction of a proposed water utility relocation on IH-10.
Lastly, during Citizens Comments, resident Joseph Robinson was concerned about the city’s basketball courts being closed to the public. He particularly pointed out how someone took photos of the City of Orange Natatorium and basketball courts being locked and posting the photos on Facebook.
Robinson said the youth in the city need summer programs to keep them occupied, otherwise they will be walking the streets of the city after the school year begins “mad because they had nothing to do during the summer.”
He said there’s a park in the Ridgemont Addition and residents said they would be glad to have a basketball court there.
“There’s a full basketball court at Navy Park already by the water tower,” Robinson said.
Guidry said later in the meeting the city does offer summer programs for the youth.