WHAT WE KNOW: Work on 7th Street in Orion was given a preliminary estimated cost of $795,000 and a later estimate of $810,000.
WHAT'S NEW: Trustees on Monday approved a $598,548 bid for the 7th Street work from Valley Construction of Rock Island, which was some 25 or 26 percent less than the estimates. Streets chairman Neal Nelson noted Valley's bid was one of four which were all under projections. The board learned five firms are planning on bidding on the 11th Avenue construction project. Finance chair Steve Newman announced Orion is getting $220,000 from the American Rescue Plan to spend on water, sewer or broadband so the likelihood is the village will spend it on the 11th Avenue project which has a water component. "We don't have to tap into the water surplus to fund the project, which is excellent news," said Newman. "We're very fortunate, very grateful to get this money. It couldn't have come at a better time for us."
WHAT'S NEXT: Trustees got their first look at the fiscal 2022 budget which projects revenue of $1.6 million and expenditures of $1.9 million, for a $330,000 deficit. Newman noted the deficit was planned in order to use up a portion of the village's $1 million general fund surplus. "It's still important to manage the overall amount. We don't want to dig too deeply into the surplus if we can help it," he said. Trustees nevertheless then agreed to put another $150,000 in the budget for engineering a future 5th Street construction project, partly to have a project "shovel-ready" in case more federal money becomes available. A sum of $10,000 was taken out of the police budget and trustees voted Tuesday 3-2 to reduce the allocation for Orion Main Street from $10,000 to $5,000. Trustee Ryan Hancock is building a home outside village limits and will have to be replaced on the board; Village President Jim Cooper asked the other trustees for suggestions on who might be appointed to replace Hancock.