Fall Fest requests street closings

by Mindy Carls correspondent

Orion Fall Festival received permission for street closures from the Orion village board on Monday, Feb. 15.

Normally, street closings for Fall Festival — the biggest event on the Orion calendar — are routine. But the 2020 festival had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and having the 2021 festival on the village board’s agenda is a sign the pandemic may be coming to an end.

Events requiring street closings during the festival on Labor Day weekend include carnival rides, the parade on Saturday afternoon and the car show on Sunday, Cooper said.

If the festival board adds events, Cooper said he will let village trustees know.

In other business

• Cooper said he planned to attend the Henry County Economic Development Partnership’s first meeting in almost a year on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Sweet Peas Grill and Bar in Geneseo. No one wanted to meet in person during the pandemic, and no one took the initiative to organize virtual meetings.

• At Cooper’s request, the village board approved waiving the liquor license fee, $500, for bars and restaurants, including Maple Street Grill, The O Kitchen and Tap, Belly Up! and Pizza Hut. He said waiving the fee will cost the village $2,000 but help businesses that were closed or had limited capacity during the pandemic.

• Trustee Neal Nelson said clearing snow in cold conditions was keeping Street Superintendent Neil Dahl and other employees busy.

• The village’s red 2008 F450 truck needs a part that is hard to find, Nelson said. Buying a replacement is in the budget, and Dahl planned to begin pricing its replacement on Wednesday, May 17.

• Trustee Ryan Hancock said Sewer Superintendent Chris Lundburg has ordered a backup pump for the 10th Avenue lift station.

• Hancock said the rumor that the new telecommunications tax will be used to pay off a fine on the sewer plant is completely false. Revenue from the new tax will be used to help make up falling revenue from the utility tax.

• Klingner & Associates is preparing plans for the 11th Avenue water main replacement project, Trustee Mel Drucker said. The plans should be complete next week.

• Trustee Mike Dunlap said he will meet with Orion High School’s new baseball coach, Thomas Smith, to discuss maintenance of the varsity diamond at Love Park.

• Trustee Steve Newman said revenue is down slightly over the last couple of months, but overall revenue is up $30,000 over a year ago.

• Newman asked board members to pick up budget forms, fill them out and turn them in Monday, March 15. The board will adopt the 2021-22 budget on Monday, April 19.

• A new part-time officer will have his first shift soon, Newman said.

• Christmas decorations in Central Park are frozen to the ground, Trustee Bob Mitton said. When it warms up, the decorations and the village Christmas tree will be removed.

• The village’s first human resources committee will have four members, Cooper said. Hancock will chair it, with trustees Newman and Drucker and Village Clerk Lori Sampson serving on it.