Former OPD officer and city reach an agreement
A former Orange Police officer agreed to a $5,000 agreement to settle and to conclude proceedings regarding pending or contemplated litigation at the regular meeting of the Orange City Council on Tuesday morning. Joshua Dempsey was suspended indefinitely from OPD for policy violations. He previously properly filed notices for appeal.
The council approved awarding a contract for the extension of the Riverfront Pavilion concrete service drive dot SpawGlass in the amount of $61,371. Councilman Bill Mello voted no to the contract.
Three other contractors- G&G Enterprises, Manshack & Sons and Claybar Construction- were also contacted on the project, according to Jay Trahan, Orange Economic Development Corporation director . Only G&G attended the walk through but did not submit a quote. The other two did not attend or submit a quote.
The proposed project was included in the FY2014 funding request using Hotel Occupancy Tax. The engineering firm of Schaumberg & Polk was also contacted and received a quote of $15,620 for engineering services related to the extension of the concrete driveway. SpawGlass was the general contractor for the Riverfront Boardwalk & Pavilion project and is familiar with the engineering design and construction drawings of the proposed project. The dimensions of the paving will be 170 feet in length by 27 feet in width and eight inches thick, totaling 4,590 square feet. The council authorized $100,00 for the Riverfront Pavilion alternatives, landscaping, concrete service drive and benches. It is estimated it will take seven weeks for the project to be completed.
Councilwoman Theresa Beauchamp asked if restrooms will be built at the Pavilion. Trahan answered there are plans to build restrooms in the future for FY2015 on the green space north of the driveway. Mello asked why the city didn’t pay for engineering costs the first time they went for bids. Trahan said it was value engineered out and was not completed.
The council tabled awarding a contract to Pyrotecnico Fireworks for $10,000 for the fireworks display for the Labor Day celebration at the Riverfront Park on September 1, 2014. Beauchamp says she associates fireworks more with the 4th of July rather than Labor Day. Also, school has started and students would have to go back to class the next day after staying out late. City Manager Shawn Oubre said there is more competition for fireworks on the 4th of July and would cost more than $10,000. There was also a question if the HOT money would pay for the fireworks since it didn’t fit the motto, putting heads in beds. There will also be a concert by Rock Alley and could be used as an arts expenditure.
Councilwoman Essie Bellfield said many people asked her why there wasn’t a 4th of July event this year because many wanted one.Councilman Larry Spears Jr. was in favor of making the 4th of July a festival starting next year.
“I want to find things for people to do,” he said.
Mayor Jimmy Sims said there was still a question of where the funding would come from. He added there is money in the general fund but some residents would ask why use the general fund when there are better uses for it than purchasing fireworks. Sims also said the city has never hosted the July 4th fireworks. It has always been The Orange Leader who done so. The resolution was tabled for a budget workshop.
Residents Sharon Odegar and Sandra Hoke proposed beautifying the exterior of the Natatorium. Odegar said her children would use the Natatorium when they were on the swimming team and they would sometimes camp outside in the surroundings. Hoke proposed landscaping the Natatorium by:
View of tiered bed nearest sidewalk to Natatorium entrance and tiered bed closest to playground.
Liriope growing in front of shrub and continue it in lowest bed.
Remove the three middle railroad ties and replace with two shrubs.
Remove second and third railroad ties from bottom and replace with two shrubs similar to existing shrubs.
Volunteers may possibly be needed to help with the planting. The city will need to provide workers to help with the heavy moving of the railroad ties and dirt. In order to enhance the appearance with flowers and color, Hoke and Odegar compiled a list of plants that would be easily care for and would do well in this area. All on the council thanked the ladies for their efforts.
Lastly, the council approved appointing new members to the Orange EDC board of directors. Councilwoman Mary McKenna was appointed to succeed former Councilman Charles Guillory on the board until September 30, 2014. Guillory lost his election in May. Shane Johns of the city’s Planning & Zoning Committee was also appointed to the Orange EDC board. He succeeds Director Ben Culpepper who died earlier this year. He will also serve until September 30, 2014.