WHAT WE KNOW: Orion has been planning to make improvements to 5th Street from 11th Avenue to 15th Avenue for some time.
WHAT'S NEW: Steve Newman of the village board's finance committee said Monday the 5th Street project is the village's No. 1 priority. The board will seek a cost estimate prior to an engineering study to ensure the project isn't too expensive to be undertaken. Trustees also agreed they might do half in one budget year and the other half the following year to spread out the cost.
Also, Mayor James Cooper told the board he had a heart attack last week. Present at Monday's meeting, he said his doctor told him he wouldn't have been so lucky had he waited two hours longer to get to the hospital. "They got me right into surgery," he said.
WHAT'S NEXT: Henry County administrator Erin Knackstedt and economic development director James Kelly, who are knowledgeable about tax-increment financing districts, will accompany the mayor on visits to taxing districts to ask for permission to extend the life of the village's TIF district. A big reason for wanting to extend the TIF is to attract an assisted living/nursing home facility, according to village officials.
Property tax revenues from TIF districts are used for development rather than being turned over to the taxing body.
The mayor also said the village was unable to come to a negotiated agreement with the Peterson family about buying their 4th Street building for a new village hall, but they are looking into other options to "proceed as quickly as we can."
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