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NEWSTRACKER: ORION

Orion village holds tax levy flat for 11th straight year

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WHAT WE KNOW: Last year, the Orion Village Board held the property tax levy flat at $193,155.

WHAT'S NEW: This year the board also passed a property tax levy in the amount of $193,155 which was the 11th straight year of holding the line on taxes. Finance chair Steve Newman said he reviewed the general fund balance annually and through Oct. 31 the village showed an increase compared with last year. He said he knew there was concern about rising prices.

"Until I see information that we're headed in the wrong direction, there's no reason to change the tax levy," he added. Village President Jim Cooper said the village was very careful about how it spent its money and gave kudos to the board and staff for fiscal responsibility.

"We've done some substantial improvements over the years, too," he said.

WHAT'S NEXT: Saying it would be difficult to find a licensed water operator, water chairman Mel Drucker made a motion to rescind the board's Oct. 17 action to advertise for a water operator. Instead, he moved to hire a public works operator whose job duties would include water systems operations and public works maintenance. He also made a motion to hire Ion Environmental Solutions as of Jan. 1 to perform a lot of the services that a water operator would perform. Cooper said the village's immediate need was to get someone like Ion to do the water department bookwork and paperwork with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

"We came to the realization that (retiring water superintendent) Arnie (Sandberg's) value to this city was a lot more than just the water," he said. The motions were approved by unanimous voice vote; Trustee Neal Nelson was absent.

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