Orion Village Hall options will be presented at special meeting

Mindy Carls
For the Republic

Options for a new or renovated village hall will be discussed at a special village board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in the village hall basement.

Village President Jim Cooper reminded board members Monday, Sept. 19, that the options include renovating the current village hall, buying and renovating a building such as the former Peterson Frame and Alignment building, or erecting a building on the site of the former bowling alley.

On Sept. 29, the board also will discuss extending the life of the current TIFF district. Cooper said TIFF lawyers will be at the meeting.

Other topics may be added to the agenda, Cooper said.

Liquor licenses

Trustees approved a change in the village's liquor ordinance, which has prohibited liquor sales within 100 feet of a church, a daycare or a school.

With the change, the village's liquor commissioner can issue a permit to an organization such as Orion American Legion Post 255 or Mary Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church for an event. The commissioner, currently the village president, would consult the village board before issuing the permit. Restrictions, such as a ban on Sunday sales, could be imposed on the permit holder.

Kevin Johnson, representing the legion, said the post is looking at Queen of Hearts as a fundraiser.

Cooper said he has been collecting ordinances from nearby villages to see what kind of ordinance Orion might want.

Trees

The village has been working with homeowners and an arborist to determine which trees need to be removed. Cooper wants to plant trees this fall, using funds the village has set aside, but Street Superintendent Neil Dahl said the stumps of old trees must be ground down and removed, and the holes backfilled, before new trees can be planted.

Cooper said Orion resident Madge Markezich, a landscape architect, has offered to help select appropriate trees. Dahl said there is a lot of room on the west side of Second Street.

In other business

• Friday, Sept. 23, is the earliest that Henry County could deliver material for seal coating Orion streets, Trustee Neal Nelson said.• Orion will begin flushing fire hydrants at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Water will be discolored, but will be safe for drinking and cooking. Households may want to avoid washing whites.• Cooper said he will speak to the Orion school board on Wednesday, Sept. 21, about maintenance of the varsity baseball diamond at Love Park. It is overgrown and the village does not have the staff required to keep it trimmed.• Trustee Steve Newman, a member of the finance committee, said he is beginning to work on changes in water rates. Later on, he will work of sewer rates.• Cooper will be asking police to watch for drivers running stop signs.• Trustee Bob Mitton said Quality Control Restoration will be replacing the village hall roof damaged in a storm earlier this year. The village will pay $500 and insurance will cover the rest.• Cooper said the village will apply for a Coulter grant to cover the cost of replacing the deck in the historic band shell in Central Park. The village president prefers composite material, but because of the historic nature of the band shell Newman would like to see if hardwood is an option.