Railroad bridge inspected

Mindy Carls

Inspectors were all over the 13th Avenue railroad bridge in mid-May, Trustee Jamie Coulter told his fellow Orion village board members on Monday, May 18.

Village President Jim Cooper said Hansen Professional Services was conducting the inspection for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Illinois Department of Transportation officials have notified the village than an inspection is past due. IDOT does not care that the railroad, not the village, owns the bridge.

Hansen Professional Services is preparing an estimate of the cost to repair or replace the bridge, which the railroad closed two years ago, Cooper said.

The work will be bid out, the village president said. 

Chad Scherwinski, manager of public projects for the railroad, has turned the Orion project over to the structures department, Cooper said. 

Schwerwinski told the village officials that he no longer wants to be the middleman between Orion and the railroad, according to Cooper. The village will get faster answers by dealing directly with the structures department.

Cooper announced the railroad hopes to finish repairing the grade crossings on 10th, 11th and 12th avenues by mid-June. His information came from Duane Schoonover, the roadmaster in Galesburg.

“I think they know I’m not letting up on them until something’s done,” Cooper said.

Illinois Main Street visit

On Thursday, June 25, Illinois Main Street representatives will visit the band shell in Central Park, Village Clerk Lori Sampson announced.

The visit will occur the day after Jazz in the Park features Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band in the band shell.

Orion was chosen because of the historic status of the band shell, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Sampson said.

Main Street Orion led the effort to renovate the band shell before its 90th anniversary in 2003. 

A person sentenced to carry out 240 hours of community service has been assigned to scrape and paint the band shell, Sampson said.

Saturday closing

Trustees approved changing office hours for Sampson and Deputy Clerk Sandy Mizen.

Until now, village hall has been closed on Thursday afternoons and open on Saturday mornings.

Fewer people are coming in or calling on Saturdays, Sampson told the board. 

People have a lot of ways to pay bills, and younger families want to spend Saturdays with their children instead of running errands, she said.

Those with questions can e-mail the village, Sampson said. 

All the government agencies with which the village does business are open on Thursday and closed on Saturday, she said.

Sampson spent one Thursday afternoon weeding outside village hall, and she found out a lot of people stop by and expect it to be open.

June 6 is the last Saturday for the village office to be open.

Starting Monday, June 8, village hall will be open from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, trustees decided.

Over the weekend, anyone with an emergency may phone 526-3302 and have the police contact the village employee who is on call.

Committee assignments

Cooper announced committee assignments. Trustees continuing with the same committees include Mel Drucker, water and finance, and Robert “Deano” O’Leary, sewer. 

O’Leary will replace former trustee Thom Sederquist on the finance committee, and Lawson will replace former Trustee Karl Kane as chairman of the street committee.

New trustee Dale Stiles will take over the police committee from Lawson.

Another new trustee, Roger Peterson, will take on buildings and grounds, as well as recreation.

Sederquist used to handle buildings and grounds, and another former trustee, Mike Dunne, used to take care of the recreation committee.

When Cooper fills the vacancy on the village board, one of Peterson’s assignments will go to the new trustee.

Later this year, Cooper will appoint co-chairmen to report on committee business if the chairman has to miss a village boardmeeting.

In other business

• Jason Bollinger reported vandalism to playground equipment in Central Park. Sampson said park superintendent Arnie Sandberg had been told about it. Cooper told Bollinger that police will be asked to keep an eye on the park.

• Steph Langley volunteered to care for the community flowerbed in Central Park, according to Peterson.

• Lighting improvements at both ball diamonds in Love Park have been completed, Lawson said.

• The area around the maintenance shed and sewer plant on Fourth Street needs to be mowed, Lawson said. All three village employees who work in those buildings need to take responsibility for the chore.

Cooper said he would notify the men to take care of it.

• Bar owner Dick Stiles asked the village for a license allowing his business to be open an hour longer on weekends. Cooper proposed such a license cost $1,000, or twice the $500 a license now costs. He asked the board to be ready to vote on the issue at its Monday, June 1, meeting. Cooper said Trustee Dale Stiles, who owns a different bar, will have to abstain from the vote. The trustee agreed.

• McCaw Medical Clinic asked the village to reserve a parking place for its patients, but trustees decided public parking could not be reserved for a business.

• The board accepted the resignation of Daryl Nelson from the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. Cooper appointed Steve Newman to replace him.

• Trustees agreed to donate $650 to the Orion Fireworks Festival on Friday, July 3.