Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

West Orange lets residents 'spring clean' this weekend

West Orange officials want residents to take advantage of the city's annual spring cleanup by taking their cast-off furniture, appliances, and other items to the free dumpster service on Friday and Saturday.

Mayor Randy Branch said the cleanup event is part of the city council's on-going effort to removed trash and improve the appearance of neighborhoods.

The city is sponsoring the event with the dumpsters being set up behind the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department, on Austin Avenue behind city hall. The dumpsters will be open to residents on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People using the dumpsters need to have proof of residency within the West Orange city limits plus have a photo identification. They will also need to remove their trash from their vehicles and place it in the dumpsters.

No hazardous wastes will be accepted. Appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners with Freon must have the chemical removed first with a tag marking that a certified person removed the Freon. Otherwise, things like old appliances, appliances, rusted yard materials, metals, and green waste like tree limbs will be able to be disposed at no cost.

Mayor Branch said the city last year created the Adopt-a-Street project with volunteers registering to keep litter picked up off of a chosen street. The city will install signs letting the public know about the volunteers. For instance, Newton Avenue past West Orange-Stark High School has been adopted by the school's student council.

Branch said he also has adopted a street, along with the Stars of Gate City and some other civic groups. Groups wanting to sign up for the program may go to city hall, 2700 Western Avenue for a form to be completed and then approved by city officials.

The mayor said Dayton and Holly streets particularly need cleaning. Apparently, people who get fast food at restaurants along MacArthur Drive turn onto Holly Street and then travel down to Dayton. He said some clear spots along the two streets seem to attract people dumping out their meal trash.

"Of course, we would really like to see people not throwing their trash out their (vehicle) windows," he said.

Another project to improve the city is to get rid of decaying and dilapidated buildings. In the past couple of years, the city has gotten rid of 40 of the buildings, with the city paying to demolish 10 and the owners tearing down another 30.

Mayor Branch said the city prefers for the owners to clear their lots. If the city ends up paying for the demolition, the city then places a lien on the property. The city's lien must be paid off before the property can ever be sold.

The process, he said, involves the city sending letters to the property owners saying their buildings have been inspected and declared to be unsafe and dilapidated. If the owner does not tear the building down and remove the debris, then the city will and then impose a lien.

He the owners usually respond to the city and usually remove the building themselves. Sometimes the lien can be more than the value of a small lot, he said.

"We're happy with the program (to remove the decaying buildings), even though its a long, slow, and painful process, especially if you are without patience for it," he said.


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