David Ball- For The Record
The West Orange City Council approved a solid waste collection franchise application for Piney Woods Sanitation of Silsbee at the regular meeting on the evening of July 27. The application reads the applicant is in compliance of provisions of Ordinance No. 226. A copy of Piney Woods Sanitation’s certificate of insurance was attached to the application.
Ordinance No. 226 states that a franchise from the city of West Orange for any person, partnership, association or corporation who provides commercial or residential or any other typer of garbage collection services within the city; providing for a fee to be charged for such franchise; providing for rules, regulations and requirements for obtaining a franchise and operating under it; providing for a termination clause of the franchise; providing for a penalty for violation hereof.
Mayor Roy McDonald announced he received a certified letter that Entergy has withdrawn its rate increase request to the Texas Public Utilities Commission.
At their regular meeting two weeks ago, the council approved the ordinance authorizing the suspension of the effective date for an additional 90 days beyond the July 17, 2015 effective date proposed by Entergy Texas in connection with its rate increase.
McDonald said the ordinance postponed the rate increase for another 90 days.
The rate change application was filed on June 12, 2015 authorizing the hiring of lawyers and rate experts and authorizing the city’s participation to the full extent permitted by law at the Public Utility Commission of Texas and requiring reimbursement of municipal rate case expenses and declaring an effective date.
The ordinance read cities have exclusive original jurisdiction over the rates, operations and services of an electric utility in areas in the municipality according to the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
The act requires a local regulatory authority to make a reasonable determination of rate base, expenses, investment and rate of return and retain the necessary personnel to determine reasonable rates.
In order to maximize the efficient use of resources and expertise in reviewing, analyzing, and investigating Entergy’s $75.3 million base rate increase request and Entergy’s proposed surcharges and riders, the city’s efforts would be coordinated with similarly situated municipalities through the Entergy Texas Inc. Cities Service Area Steering Committee.
The city joined with other Entergy service area municipalities in a steering committee in order to coordinate the hiring and direction of counsel and consultants working on behalf of the steering committee and the city. The city employed the Lawton Law Firm to represent them.
City Manager Mike Stelly was nominated for the Board of Trustees of the Texas Municipal League MultiState Intergovernmental Employee Benefits Pool for Region 16. Stelly was compete for the position against other nominees from across the region. The trustee post is a three-year staggered term of office.
The five present Board of Directors for the Orange County Appraisal District – Chair Lynda Gunstream, Vice Chair Hughie Allen, Secretary Laura Floyd, Member Tim Schossow and Member Tim Andrews, were nominated by the city council for another term.
The directors serve a two-year term beginning on January 1 of even-numbered year, 2016 is the beginning of the next two year term of the board, according to information from the OCAD.
A contract for a one-year audit service with the option for two additional years for Sandersen Knox & Company, LLC, was approved.
City Secretary Theresa Van Meter said the firm has worked with the city for several years, does a thorough job and they’re “very easy to work with.” There will no change in price for the service.

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