West Orange Considers Annexation

West Orange could be getting bigger in the coming months.  The city will hold public hearings in November to receive comments on the annexation of five tracts of properties owned by Eagle Railcar Services.

The City Council in West Orange on Monday approved the first public hearing for Monday, November 1, and the second hearing for the following Monday, November 8.  If the annexation of the properties is approved West Orange would be responsible to provide municipal services like police and fire protection which Police Chief Mike Stelly indicated the city is already doing.

Councilman Brent Dearing questioned whether West Orange would also have to extend water and sewer services to the properties.  Stelly reminded that water and sewer would be the responsibility of the Orange County Water Control & Improvement District #2 and not the city.

The City Council repealed and replaced four city ordinances.  The new ordinances included minor changes in wording and were unanimously approved by the council.

Ashbritt had its contract with the city extended.  The company has handled post disaster-related services for West Orange after recent hurricanes.

Traylor and Associates will be the administrator for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Project from Tropical Storm Imelda.  The grant will be used to purchase and install a generator at the West Orange City Hall.


During the meeting the council heard a presentation concerning security systems to assist first responders when handling fires in a building.  Assistant Fire Chief Simmie Gibson with the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department requested information on the Knox Box be provided for the council.

Eric Rohleder with the Knox Company said his company provides an easier and safer way for first responders to enter burning buildings that are locked or secured by using a Knox Box.  Instead of trying to contact the owner of the building to gain entry, or just breaking the door down, the Knox Box is a secure container made of eight pounds of steel that holds a key to the building for the first responders to make easy entrance into the structure.  “They can do what they need to do and then come on out,” Rohleder explained. 

Gibson pointed out there are already a few buildings in West Orange using the Knox Box, the most prominent being the West Orange-Stark High School.  Gibson added the key to the Knox Box for the school is actually in the possession of the City of Orange’s Fire Department.  No action was taken but the council will consider contracting with Knox Box for their services.  

Written by Dan Perrine

Categories: Community

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