7th Street project going out for bids

by Mindy Carls correspondent

The Orion village board approved the Seventh Street reconstruction plan on Monday, Feb. 1.

Approval allows Trustee Neal Nelson to seek bids for the project, estimated to cost $810,000.

As discussed at a previous meeting, plans for the project include two 11-foot driving lanes, a 8-foot parking lane and sidewalk.

A plan to finance the 7th Street project and the 11th Avenue water main project was adopted on Monday, Dec. 21, Trustee Steve Newman reminded the board.

Sources include a $460,000 loan from BankORION, which would be repaid over five years at 1.7 percent interest, the trustee said on Dec. 21. Payments would be $8,002 a month, with utility taxes covering $6,000, and general fund surplus $2,002.

The village has $235,000 in motor fuel tax revenue it could use for the projects, and another $123,000 in motor fuel tax revenue is available through Rebuild Illinois, he said.  Also, the general fund could contribute $206,000 and the water fund $163,000, Newman said.

Seventy-eight percent will come from the street department and 22 percent from the water department, the trustee advised the board.

Numbers could change when the board receives bids for both projects, Newman said.

It’s “a very creative financial plan,” Village President Jim Cooper said on Feb. 1.

Trustee Mel Drucker said by the end of next week Klingner & Associates should have a cost estimate and plans for the water main replacement on 11th Avenue from 10th to 13th streets.

In other business

• Nelson said the village had “a good inventory” of salt on hand. Village employees had to fix mechanical problems on the trucks, and they went into overtime while plowing streets.

• Snowmobile drivers need to use the route and stay off private property, Nelson said.

• Trustees approved spending up to $20,000 for a backup pump for the 10th Avenue lift station. The existing pumps were purchased in 2010 or 2011, and if one failed during a major storm it would be nice to have a spare on hand, Trustee Ryan Hancock said. The money is in the 2020-21 budget.

• Dean Larson, the village’s plumbing inspector died on Jan. 18. Drucker said Water Superintendent Arnie Sandberg had spoken with prospective replacements and recommended Randy Dennis of Orion. The board approved hiring Dennis for $2,000 a year.

• In a sign of normal activities resuming, the board approved a donation to Orion After Prom of $125 with a check, and $125 in five $25 Main Street Orion gift certificates.

• Katelyn Miner, Orion’s new liaison with Bi-State Regional Commission, introduced herself to the board. Cooper asked if she would help Orion find money for infrastructure projects.

• Newman asked residents to call police immediately about vandalism and about strangers. Cooper said Orion was not exempt from having cars stolen, and he urged residents to lock their cars and take the keys with them.

• Trustee Bob Mitton asked village officials and employees to complete a survey about what they want in a new or renovated village hall.