Orion scheduling park events

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic

The Village of Orion is beginning to schedule events for Central and Love parks.

Village President Jim Cooper asked the board for recommendations at the meeting on Monday, March 15.

Illinois is in Phase 4 of its pandemic recovery plan, Cooper told the board. Phase 4 limits attendance to 50 persons.

Cooper spoke to Henry County’s emergency management director, Mat Schnepple, who said when the state moves to Phase 5 limits will be removed.

Phase 5 possibly could begin in early summer, depending on how fast residents are vaccinated and how much the infection rate goes down, Cooper said.

Events that could take place in the parks in spring and summer include:

• Bill Dahl Memorial Easter Egg Hunt, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3, in Love Park.

• Orion High School’s academic awards night, planned for May in Central Park.

• Orion Middle School’s eighth-grade promotion, planned for May in Central Park.

• Main Street Orion event, planned for Saturday, Aug. 7.

• Orion Fall Festival, Labor Day weekend, in Central Park.

Jennifer Johnson, president of the Orion Educational Foundation, attended the virtual meeting of the board to request permission to use Central Park on Saturday, Aug. 21, for a fundraising event to replace this year’s Spring Gala, which would have been Friday, March 19. Food and alcohol will be served.

The board did not vote on the request. Instead, Cooper said any group wanting to schedule an event in the parks should contact Village Clerk Lori Sampson to reserve them. The village will not enforce any state limits.

Landscape waste dates

The board will open the burn pile on Fourth Street for Orion residents only from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturdays, April 3, April 17, May 1, May 15 and May 29 and from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays, April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17 and May 31.

Only landscape waste will be accepted. Grass will not be taken.

In other business

• After making changes requested by the street department, Trustee Mel Drucker announced the 11th Avenue water main replacement plans are ready to send out for bids. The project includes replacing the portion of the street that will have to be torn up from 10th to 13th Streets.

• Orion received $76,000 for police protection expenses from the CURE program, which funnels federal money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act, Sampson said.

• The board approved Nelson’s request to spend up to $45,000 on a new Ford F-450 to replace the 2008 red dump truck. The money is in this year’s budget, and more money will be requested in next year’s budget to equip it.

• The village will be advertising for an employee to mow parks and around the welcome signs.

• Board members discussed spending tax-increment financing proceeds on decorative street lights on Fourth Street south of 12th Avenue, including the west side of Central Park and the east side of village hall.