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Orion gets money for street work, wants appraisal for village hall
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Orion gets money for street work, wants appraisal for village hall

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WHAT WE KNOW: Trustees are looking at street improvements on 7th and 5th streets.

WHAT'S NEW: The village on Monday received the first installment of $20,421 from a three-year, $40,000-per-year Rebuild Illinois grant for the street work. The money needs to be spent by late July 2025. The street committee is preparing to bring preliminary drawings with estimated costs to the village board for a discussion of the scope of the work, focusing on 7th street. The goal is to have the project shovel-ready by next spring.

WHAT'S NEXT: The village has obtained the right of first refusal for the former bowling alley property on the southeast corner of town to be used for a new village hall. Following a closed session to discuss a financing opportunity on the property, trustees voted unanimously to get an appraisal. Before the closed session, Village President Jim Cooper said owner Dan Diamond wanted $102,500 for the property and had other buyers interested. Cooper said an appraiser, who wished to remain anonymous, told him the price was well within line. Trustee Mel Drucker said a formal appraisal should be obtained, but Cooper said if it turned out high — say $140,000 — then "we've shot ourselves in the foot." Drucker noted the $75,000 cost of running water and sewer to the property, and trustee Ryan Hancock said the village might want to expand homes in that direction. Village Clerk Lori Sampson cited examples of downtowns spiraling downward after public buildings — city halls, post offices and libraries — moved out.

— LISA HAMMER/rlhammer15@gmail.com

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