Orion preparing to bid water, street projects

by Mindy Carls correspondent

Orion trustees Neal Nelson and Mel Drucker are preparing to let bids for street and water projects during the 2021 construction season.

They made the announcements during the village board meeting on Monday, Jan. 4.

Nelson, chairman of the street committee, asked trustees to let him know before the next meeting on Monday, Jan. 18, what concerns they have about the Seventh Street renovation.

He said he wants to confirm the details of the project so the village can let bids by the end of the month.

Drucker said he wants input on replacing the water main on 11th Avenue from 10th to 13th streets. The village has asked its engineering firm to prepare a cost estimate and to apply for a permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Ice and snow

Nelson said Street Superintendent Neil Dahl and Sewer Superintendent Chris Lundburg had been busy clearing streets of ice and snow, which Nelson called the worst-case scenario.

Someone called Nelson to complain the village should have cleared sidewalks on Main Street. The trustee said last year the board discussed hiring someone to do that but decided not to.

“Where do you start and stop?” he said. If the village cleared sidewalks on Main Street, owners of businesses in other parts of town would expect the village to do it for them, too. Also, if the village is helping businesses with the chore, why not residences, too?

Cooper said he had heard from someone whose friend was injured on an icy sidewalk, but the village policy is that property owners are responsible for sidewalks along their property.

In other business

• Drucker said village employees and Plumbing Inspector Dean Larson had been checking water leaks in Prairie Knoll Estates. One leak on 12th Avenue was from a lateral, and the property owner took care of it.

• Trustee Mike Dunlap, chairman of the recreation committee, said Ty’s Tree and Lawn Service had sent three invoices to the village for treatments of the varsity diamond in Love Park. Orion High School agreed to pay one, and the baseball program agreed to pay another. Dunlap said the village was to pay a third invoice for $500, but Village Clerk Lori Sampson said she had paid it during the summer. They will check into it.

Cooper asked Dunlap to remind the lawn service not to do anything at the diamond unless they check with the village first.

• Trustee Steve Newman, chairman of the police committee, said a couple of cars were stolen on Christmas night and the next morning. Nelson reported someone had broken into cars. Newman reminded residents to lock up their cars.

• At the end of Henry County’s budget year, Orion owed $9,910.88 for police protection, Newman said. The board voted to pay it. The village has been spending less than budgeted for part-time officers, Newman said.

• The next finance committee meeting will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13.

• Cooper asked village employees to leave holiday decorations up until the weather breaks a little.

• Main Street Orion will meet Monday, Jan. 11, to discuss offering area residents an incentive to order carryout from Orion restaurants, Cooper said.