Village to apply for streetscape grant

Ethan Shook
Fourth Street businesses, Orion

Orion will seek a federal matching grant to help pay for streetscape improvements.

Village trustees deadlocked 3-3 on a motion to apply for the funds and to proceed with the program if the village receives the grant.

Breaking the tie, Village President voted in favor of the motion.

The decision came on Monday, July 19, when the Orion village board met for their bimonthly meeting.

All board members were in attendance, and there were only a few people sitting in the gallery.

The federal grant would provide money for 80 percent of the cost, while Orion would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent, around $100,000.

The village applied for this grant both in 2005 and 2008, and was turned down both times, though the board is optimistic that Orion could receive the funds this time.

Dale “Sarge” Stiles was concerned that the village would not only have to come up with the 20 percent, which would most likely come from the utility tax, but that the village would need to raise the entire cost of the program and be reimbursed as time went on.

Discussion went back and forth on the subject, and after several minutes of discussion, a vote was called on whether they should proceed.

The annual treasurer’s report for the 2010 fiscal year as approved unanimously, as were the monthly bills. A summary of the treasurer’s report appears in this issue of the Orion Gazette.

A vote was taken to approve the lining of the sewer mains on First Street and 10th Avenue. The cost of the project will be $12,000. The money was reported to be within the budget, and concern over potential problems if the mains were left unattended led to a unanimous approval.

The final issue discussed was adding a fence and gate to the village burn site, and whether prevailing wage needed to be paid to workers on the project.

Village attorney John Ames said that the law was unspecific, but that prevailing wage was almost certainly the best choice to avoid legal trouble, though he will look into the issue further to remain sure.

Village board meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall basement, unless one of those days falls on a holiday. Then the meeting is the following Wednesday.