Orion board to reconsider liquor ordinance language

Mindy Carls
For the Republic

"We put ourselves between a rock and a hard place," Orion village president Jim Cooper said at the board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7

Thinking Orion American Legion Post 255 might be interested in a liquor license during the car show at Orion Fall Festival, the board discussed the issue during the summer. The post is across the street from a church, and a village ordinance bans liquor consumption within 100 feet or a church, school or daycare center.

The Legion never did apply for the liquor license.

Then Mary Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church applied for a liquor license for its annual Harvest Gala on Oct. 8.For 19 years, the church has been serving beer and wine during the gala, which includes a dinner, a silent auction and a live auction, Tim Moen told the board.

Cooper said it would be hypocritical to give a license to the church but not to the veterans. The board voted four in favor, one against to consider revising the ordinance on Monday, Sept. 19.

Playing ball

Orion High School head baseball coach Thomas Smith spoke to the board about maintenance of the varsity diamond at Love Park.

The diamond was one of the top three in the greater Quad Cities area during the spring, but it's been neglected since then and now looks like a prairie field, Smith said.

Cooper said the board made a substantial investment in a new grass infield, a drainage system and nets across the dugout windows. He said the high school should help pay for maintaining the playing surface.

The village needs another full-time employee to maintain the parks and to shovel sidewalks on Fourth Street.Cooper said the village board would discuss the issue and meet with the school board to come up with a solution.

In other business:

  • The board discussed progress on the new parking lot at the ball diamonds in Love Park, where rock will be laid this fall in order to settle over winter. Cooper said a family is willing to donate $25,000 to add a concession stand to the restrooms.
  • Orion did not get a grant to help with a new village hall, but it's time to decide which of three options the village wants to pursue — build a new village hall where the former bowling alley was, buy and renovate a building, and renovate the existing building. The board will set the date for a special meeting.
  • Cooper thanked St. Paul Lutheran Church members for spreading mulch in both parks and pulling weeds at the community flower garden in Central Park.