Orion Board adopts $3.1M budget

Mindy Carls

Orion village board members adopted a $3.1 million budget for 2021-22 on Monday, April 19.

The budget includes $5,000 for Main Street Orion, with the organization permitted to request another $5,000 if needed.

Main Street Orion’s vice president, Alicia Dierikx, thanked the board for the arrangements, which will help fund events this year.

Only one event, the Daddy-Daughter Dance, has been cancelled, Dierikx said.

The group is planning more business-related activities, such as a newsletter, she told the board. Main Street is asking businesses how it can help them.

Several businesses, including Parkside Treasure House, Bloomberg Appraisal and Union Federal, submitted letters supporting Main Street Orion, Dierikx said.

Executive Director Kassi Clear said the group is reaching out to eight businesses that dropped their memberships.

Trustee Bob Mitton said Main Street should have a surplus because it did not have to pay expenses for the events it cancelled last year.

Dierikx said Main Street still had overhead costs, such as rent for its office, and personnel costs. Also, some of the events that were cancelled were fundraisers.

Mitton said the group had $31,000 in the bank and called that “sitting pretty good.”

Clear and Dierikx responded that some of the $31,000 was set aside for façade grants and some for Main Street Orion gift certificates.

Village President Jim Cooper asked the group for more transparency on its activities and financing. Mitton requested Main Street purchase items in Orion whenever possible, and Dierikx assured him the group did.

In other business

• Still seeking a place to hold in-person meetings, the board met in the commons at Orion High School. Village hall will re-open to the public on Monday, May 3, but not for in-person board meetings.

• Trustee Neal Nelson was absent.

• The board decided to have clean-up week following Main Street Orion’s community garage sales on Saturday, June 12. Details will be decided later.

• At the request of Trustee Steve Newman, the board approved using TIF funds for buying and installing decorative lights on Fourth Street in front of Central Park and Orion village hall, $24,190; repairing a backup pump at the sewer plant, $15,205, and replacing a fire hydrant behind Casey’s General Store, $8,660.

• Three weed-and-feed applications will be made at Central and Love parks, including the varsity baseball diamond, and at village hall.

• Board members approved the request of Jason West for a variance allowing him to run a water lateral in the village right of way so he can connect to the water main for a new building he is putting up at 109 10th Avenue.

• The board approved meeting dates for 2021-22. Meetings will be on the first and third Mondays of each month, with two meetings moved to Wednesday nights because of holidays. The exceptions are July 7 because of Independence Day and Sept. 8 because of Labor Day.