Orion wrapping up 7th Street project

Mindy Carls
Orion O

Orion trustees approving payment of $222,583.27 to Valley Construction for the Seventh Street project, which is now open to traffic.

It is the fourth but not the final payment, trustees learned on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Trustee Neal Nelson said the punch list for the project is dwindling. The street looks nice, grass is coming in and signs are up. Street Superintendent Neil Dahl met with engineer Shane Larson to discuss extending sidewalks farther than planned along the street. A drainage issue has to be resolved. Even with the extra work, the project will come in under budget.

Nelson said the village could apply for a $250,000 grant from the Safe Routes to School program. It’s an 80/20 program with the village putting up 20 percent of the money. Also, the village would have engineering costs.

The money would be used for a two-year sidewalk project starting in late 2022 or spring 2023, he said.

Trustee Steve Newman said the village could budget for its share of the cost, and he noted some federal money is potentially coming the village’s way.

The board approved the grant application.

In other business

• As promised, Miller Trucking and Excavating was in town the day after Labor Day to begin working on the 11th Avenue water main replacement project. Work should be completed in three weeks.

• Park Superintendent Arnie Sandberg said he will start laying dra rates lines for the new parking lot in Love Park the week of Sept. 13.

• The village has received its first payment of $122,213 in American Rescue Plan funds, Village Clerk Lori Sampson said. It can be used for the 11th Avenue water main project.

• Orion resident Jenny Eckhardt told the board that at a previous meeting she had suggested user fees for maintenance and liability but not for construction of a splash pad in Love Park.

• Trustee Jim Hickerson said he had met with Sewer Superintendent Chris Lundburg to tour the plant. Hickerson has some money-saving ideas.

• The board approved a $1 an hour raise, from $17 to $18, for Deputy Clerk Dee Lundburg, who is responsible for training new employees before Sampson’s retirement. Lundburg will replace her.

• Trustees voted to remove language banning cross-dressing from the village ordinances.