Orange Railroad Crossing Hot Topic At Council Meeting

The City Council in Orange met for the first time since the closing of the railroad crossing at Barkins Avenue and 15th Street.  As expected several citizens spoke opposing the closure during the time for citizens comments.

Mayor Pro Temp Paul Burch said he too received a number of phone calls against the closing of the railroad crossing on Monday.  Burch explained the closure was based on decisions made by a previous municipal administration and city council over a decade ago.  “It’s affecting us all, so we are aware of it, who knows what can be done, we don’t know, we’ll see what can happen.  It’s going to be hard on us trying to get to and fro just like the people that live there, so we hear you,” Burch replied.

A contract was awarded to Frey’s Landscaping for work on the walking track at Northway Park.  Public Works Director Jim Wolf said the project is to level out areas on the track that have become rutted out by rains. 

The project will cost $277,816 for the work to be done.  Wolf estimated the repairs will take 90 to 120 days to complete and should start in two to three weeks. 

City Manager Mike Kunst was authorized by the council to accept a $107,142 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Orange Fire Department.  Chief David Frenzel said the funds will be used to purchase 15 self-contained breathing apparatus and an additional 30 bottles to go with them.

The Economic Development Corporation Infrastructure Grant Agreement for a proposed sit down restaurant at the Sabine River was terminated.  Jake LeMoine planned to build the Boardwalk Grille until the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the projected flood protection wall would go where LeMoine wanted to build the restaurant.

September 2021 was the deadline for the project to start under the $200,000 infrastructure grant agreement.  LeMoine has been successful turning his business into a catering service instead.

Two items were approved concerning the Eagle Point Parkway.  A donation special warranty deed from Kilimanjaro Corporation as to a 4.99 acre tract and a retention pond easement adjacent to the parkway were approved by the City Council.

August was proclaimed Health Awareness Month and Tuesday was recognized as TAN Healthcare Day.  TAN was created as the Triangle AIDS Network and serves as a source for citizens to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.  Representatives with the local TAN Health Center in Orange at the Northway shopping center attended the meeting.

Written by Dan Perrine, KOGT

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