More Orion residents ask the village for financial assistance for flooding issues |: Politics and elections:

LISA HAMMER:

WHAT WE KNOW: Orion village officials are considering providing some assistance to Jason West of West Concrete with flooding issues at his 109 10th Ave. property.

WHAT’S NEW: Two more homeowners attended Monday’s village board meeting to say they, too, have flooding issues. Ann and Phil Randall of 1010 10th Ave. said they’d been flooded twice in the 12 years they’d lived at the property – once in 2015 and a month ago. Ron Belton of 102 12th Ave. said his garage needed to be lifted 3 feet to get it above flood stage, and the problem had worsened since the state worked on US Highway 150 some years ago.

Village President Jim Cooper said the village needed to have an engineer look at the Randalls’ property. The Belton property was not on the agenda and will be talked about at a future meeting. The village will approach the developer for a flooding issue at Prairie Knoll subdivision that has worsened since two new homes were built. Engineer JD Schulte of Hutchison Engineering said he agreed the West situation was a TIF-eligible expense and also eligible for motor fuel tax money since there was roadway drainage. No decisions were made.

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WHAT’S NEXT: Schulte said his firm could help create a five-year infrastructure plan in part to capture the knowledge and experience of the three village superintendents – Neil Dahl, streets; Arnie Sandberg, water; and Chris Lundburg, sewer – who will retire in coming years. Cooper asked Schulte to come up with a cost and then report to a finance committee meeting. Any document could include recommendations for future water and sewer rates. Water chairman Mel Drucker said years worth of water improvements had been accomplished without raising rates, but those days might be at an end.

“How do we fund it? That’s going to be the big thing,” Drucker said. Not only do congressmen have “little pots” of money any longer, but water-saving devices mean revenues are down in the water department while expenses are up.

“Guidance is what we’re looking for,” Cooper said.

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