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Orion trustees return to Village Hall discussion

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WHAT WE KNOW: Trustees last week rejected any of the alternatives for changing their Village Hall: expanding the existing hall, renovating the Peterson building downtown or building new at the former bowling alley property.

WHAT'S NEW: Building and grounds chairman Bob Mitton objected to seeing an agenda item under the finance committee regarding authorizing two board members to start negotiations for the purchase of the Peterson building. He hadn't been aware of the plan.

"If it's that person's department, they should know what's going on," he said. Village Clerk Erin Lange said village President Jim Cooper and Trustee Neal Nelson told her to put the item on the agenda immediately after last Thursday's meeting where none of the alternatives was advanced. Neither Cooper nor Nelson was at Monday's meeting. She said they wanted to clarify if it was still for sale and what the asking price would be.

"You should have been involved in it since you're the building and grounds person, you're absolutely correct," President Pro Tem Mel Drucker told Mitton.

WHAT'S NEXT: Mitton said the board had spent approximately $15,000 on the village hall issue without coming to an agreement on what they wanted: just a village hall, a village hall with a small community center or a village hall with a large community center.

"I'm asking each of you to take a moment and send me something. We're still on Page 1 of what do we want. What do you as a board member want right now?" he asked. He said he would send each trustee a questionnaire.

The board also heard from resident Phil Randall, who first approached them last June about flooding at his 1010 10th Ave. home. There was a general consensus that trustees need to contact the engineers again, although Drucker suggested the solution might be as simple as "gouging out" from 11th to 12th avenues. Street Superintendent Neil Dahl said the engineers needed to know what the watershed was for the entire area so they could know what types of flow they were dealing with.

"The engineers are the ones that will plan it right," he said.

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WHAT WE KNOW: FGM Architects gave a presentation on Colona's proposed new City Hall/police department on Oct. 24, saying a preliminary step or Phase 1 would involve site selection and whether it is possible to rehab either of the two current sites.

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