The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Board Agrees To Allow Public Input

By Sally Day- The Quill

Visitors asked Oquawka Village board members if they would consider allowing the visitors to talk prior to the end of the meetings.

Before this meeting, held March 5, 2012, visitors were placed at the end of the agenda, allowing them to speak for three minutes.

Resident Sue Bigger asked, "If you allow us three minutes at the end, would you revise a vote?" There were approximately 20 visitors present.

Board members contemplated this, a discussion ensued, in which board members generously noted that it was important for residents to have input. Board member Todd Shinberger noted, "The main reason I became a board member was to listen to the community." The other board members agreed and it was decided that visitors could discuss and ask questions following a motion and a second, prior to a vote. The board further stated there would still be a place for visitors to bring up new and/or different information at the end of the meeting.

Engineer Paul Loete announced a delay on the street project. The delay should only be a matter of two weeks and is due to an Environmental Review, where they found some endangered animals - the Indiana Bat. Mayor Harold Henshaw said he had received information on endangered Tree Frogs.

Loete also asked the board if they would like his engineering company to pursue a planning grant, which needs to be applied for by the end of March. The board agreed they would like to see if the grants are available to them.

Village resident Diane Meldrum was present to inform the board, that U.S. Representative Bobby Shilling, 17th Congressional District of Illinois, Republican Party, has offered to help Oquawka in seeking available grant monies for a permanent structure at the "track". Meldrum is also part of the 4th of July Committee. The board passed a motion to seek funding through the committee for a permanent shelter.

Oquawka Fire Chief, Hal Jern reported to the board Eileen Nolan had generously donated a sum of money to the Fire Department to assist with repairs. Chief Jern is also attempting to obtain grant monies from Great River Medical Center of West Burlington, Iowa, for fire equipment.

Police Chief Todd Miller reported a total of 67 calls and 14 arrests for the month of February 2012.

Two committees will meet on Tuesday, March 27. The Public Safety Committee will meet 6 p.m. to discuss Village Ordinances and at 6:30 p.m. the Finance Committee will meet.

In other business, the Board: