Orion's Seventh Street work begins

Mindy Carls
Orion O

The rebuilding of Seventh Street is underway, Trustee Neal Nelson told Orion village board members on Monday, June 7.

Taking advantage of good weather the previous week, Valley Construction Company workers made progress on installing drainage tile, putting in sub base for curb and gutter, moving a fiber-optic box, and verifying property lines, Nelson said.

The next project for Orion is to renovate Fifth Street, Nelson said. Orion is preparing to submit an engineering study to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Trustee Steve Newman said the Illinois Department of Transportation has said Orion can use Rebuild Illinois funds or general revenue to pay for the engineering study.

Newman said the Seventh Street project could be a template for the Fifth Street project.

The village needs to determine what Fifth Street should be like, Nelson said. Should it have a bike path? Where is sidewalk needed on only one side, and where should it be laid on both sides? Where should curb and gutter go?

Trustee Mel Drucker said no one can predict the cost of construction materials will be in five years, when the Fifth Street project will be underway.

Nelson said it looks like construction materials for street work are stable.

Fifth Street will be 41 feet wide, with parking and curb and gutter, Nelson said. Orion could set up the work in sections, doing the worst first.

Police coverage

Newman, chairman of the police committee, said he and Cambridge Administrator Steve Brown discussed police coverage. Both villages are having trouble finding part-time officers to cover shifts. Sharing a full-time officer would help the villages improve coverage.

Drucker suggested again that the officer on duty in Orion should get out of the squad car and get to know the kids in the park and the people in businesses.

Cooper said that if the village wants to ban someone from the park, the procedure is to write a letter to the probation office and have it make staying out of the park a condition of probation.

In other business

• The board accepted the resignation of Trustee Ryan Hancock, effective on Monday, May 31. Hancock had announced at a previous board meeting that he would be resigning because he was moving out of town.

• Village President Jim Cooper said he already had spoken to a couple of potential replacements for Hancock. Anyone interested in the position should contact Cooper, village hall or any trustee.

• The board approved a $1,200 donation to the Orion Fireworks Festival. Considering the 11th Avenue water main project should be underway, Cooper said the village will work with the contractor, Miller Trucking & Excavating, and festival organizers to determine a route for the lighted parade on Saturday, July 3.

• As the meeting began, Trustee Mel Drucker said an alternative to a new village hall would be a new municipal building rather than a community center. He did not elaborate.

• The board approved spending $38,824 on a chassis and cab from the Suburban Purchasing Co-op. Additional funds will be used to equip it for use as a snow plow.

• The next board meeting will be on Monday, June 21, in village hall.