The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Board Holds November Session

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

At the regular Oquawka Village board meeting on November 14, 2011, Mayor Harold Henshaw, Clerk Sandy Huff, and Village Attorney Mike Neff were present to conduct business along with all board members: Jeff Robbins, Cindy Henry, Jason Howard, Troy Jern, Todd Shinberger, and Nancy Bundy.

Coral Seitz came before the Board on behalf of the Oquawka Toy Drive, asking for a donation to help with purchasing toys for needy children in the community and were given $3,500, the same as they had given to the drive the last 3 years.

"We bought gifts for 77 kids last year," Coral said. "We will be selling tickets for a drawing for a $100 Gift Certificate at Fishers Food and two $50 gas gift cards, one for each gas station.

Coral said, "There are only five of us who are working on this, so we appreciate all the support we receive from the community.

"We have put up a Christmas tree at the bank and people can take a tag and buy an item for a child," she said, then we will pick them up and see who still needs what to balance all the gifts out. They try to raise $100 for each child so they can purchase a coat, boots, and one fun toy.

Coral noted the Eagles Club in Oquawka, has been very generous and remarked that the community comes together a lot for this meaningful act of giving.

"We've had people help us and we absolutely love their help."

Occasionally, there is some negativity but it is far and few between, said Coral, when they are told that "a certain family doesn't deserve to be helped because of one thing or the other,

"We girls all agree - It's not the child's fault," she said.

The is another way in which the community can show children and families that somebody cares and they are important, starting with the newborn on up.

Jeff Robbins made the motion to give $3500 to the Oquawka Toy Drive which was seconded by Todd Shinberger, and all voted yes to the motion.

Coral announced that they would have a soup supper/fundraiser but have since found the building is being used the night of the Christmas parade for a benefit for young Ryan Simpson who suffered paralysis in an accident while playing in their back yard pool in Oquawka.

In other business, the board heard:

Bill Moody, the Oquawka Zoning Officer, reported only one permit was issued, and that he talked to the Manager of Consolidated Grain of contracts for the coming Spring.

He reported that there will be an average of 100 trucks a day servicing their elevator on the Riverfront which will mean 200 trips each way.

Bill issued a permit to Consolidated Grain to build. Steel beams will be raised up 2 feet above the flood plain and they started the project on the 14th.

The Oquawka Swimming Pool renovation project is progressing nicely,

* Heard a motion to hire Keith Henry full time City worker with understanding he will get his CDL within 60 days. It was noted the village is exempt from needing a Medical Permit due to their non for profit status.

* Working For The City is Mike Hays who is now the Water and Street Supt. for the City, taking the place of Brad Gotaas who had given 32 years of service to the Village. Hays has a full time assistant, Keith Henry, plus Tyler Bundy, who is part time summer help.

Hays reported he is starting to get everything caught up. "I am doing the best I can." He said that stumps have been removed at both Links and Bundys.

Mayor Henshaw said it would be good, "If we can have some people meet with Mike about drainage at "The Hub." "We need get ahead of this, people are putting money into this building. I think we need to step up to the plate and do what we can. I like our businesses to know we appreciate what they do," the mayor told the board.

It was also noted that the leaves need cleaned out of the gutters so they are not plugging up anything. It is suppose rain.

Board members also said there were citizens complaining that the semis were bringing in mud. After it rains, we would like to have it cleaned up, Mayor said to Hays.

The Mayor noted the street renovation process is going to be expensive and preparing for it is going to have to be hit and miss. "I think we need to get started on them. When spring hits, he said, they are going to start at the end of the main shut-off boxes and pits.

Hays asked where the drains are going to be.

"If they are going to come in and start putting the storm sewers in, I don't know where they are going to be."

The Mayor said he will get a hold of the project engineer and have him come in and show him. "I will try to do that tomorrow (Nov. 15th).

It was reported in the discussion that "The street is going to be elevated" during the renovation of main street (Schuyler Street).

Mike Hays was told to "keep up good work."

Mayor Henshaw will be bringing to the board the financials for paying for the "Renovation Of Main Street" project that already has received large financial support through grants.

The next board meeting is the second Monday of the month on December 12th at the Oquawka Village Hall along Schuyler Street at 7:00 p.m.