The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Board reverses decision -gives $6500 to improve ballfield

By Sally Day for the Quill

Approximately 30 visitors were on hand during the October 2, 2012 meeting of the Oquawka Village Board, to listen to, and add to the discussion on the ball field. Although the ball field situation was not on the agenda, Village President Harold Henshaw submitted a letter, written by Steve Lumbeck, who had been spear heading the improvements to the ball field. A very calm, yet passionate talk ensued, with residents expressing the needs of the ball field.

Residents asked how they could help; if they had fund raisers to help defray the costs, etc. Many residents volunteered their time and private equipment to maintain the ball field. They all praised the school's ball team going to state, and again, how much the improvements were needed.

Jason Howard, board member, remained steadfast, stating, "The irrigation system is excessive, it is my only issue. I understand the ball field needs improvement." Steve Lumbeck was present and noted, "If it is not done as I proposed, I will give the money back." He continued that he didn't want to cause hard feelings with the people who had already donated money, but said he would give the money back and the interested residents could start back at the beginning.

The board made the motion to give the ball field $6500 for the necessary improvements. The vote was as follows: Jeff Robbins, yes; Cindy Henry, yes; Jason Howard, no (due to the irrigation system); Harold Henshaw, yes; Troy Jern, yes; Todd Shinberger, absent; and Nancy Bundy, yes.

Following the vote, board member Jeff Robbins thanked all the interested residents who had attended, and the Boy Scouts, who are going to redo the roof on the concession stand this weekend, as well as the board. Robbins said, "Nothing is more important than the children." He further noted, "We need to quit fussing and get this done." Residents also thanked the board for the considerations they had been shown. Steve Lumbeck thanked the board for all their work on the project.

Oquawka Police Chief Todd Miller spoke to the board about "Body Cams" which had been purchased for the department by States Attorney Scott McClintock. The Body Cams allow officers to film persons while they are interviewing them, etc. The cams are video records and "see" what the officer sees. The equipment consists of two cameras and four mounting kits. The board agreed to authorize the purchase of the cams.

Police Chief Miller also submitted his monthly report to the board, noting there were 124 total calls for service and 12 arrests made for the month.

Oquawka Fire Chief Hal Jern was present to ask the board if they would allow him to look into making Oquawka a Fire Protection District. He asked that they welcome R.S.P.& E. (Roseville) Fire Protection District President Todd Adkisson to the November meeting. The board agreed.

Slim McGann was on hand to discuss driving golf carts on village streets. Following a brief discussion, it was decided to hold a Public Safety Committee on October 25, at 6 p.m.

In other business, the Board: