The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Engineers add 48 more parking places along Oquawka's Schuyler Street

By Sally Day for the Quill

Jared Fluhr, Engineer with MSA Professional Services, spoke to the Oquawka Village Board about the Schuyler Street Project, during their regular meeting, April 1, 2013. Following a brief explanation of an amendment to the contract which had been agreed to by the Village, Fluhr noted that his company had added 48 more parking places than the original plans had allowed. Susan Bigger, businesswoman and resident, thanked Fluhr for his part in the arrangement.

Fluhr updated board members on the project, telling them the extra time the engineers had spent in Oquawka for additional meetings, etc., would not be charged to them. He said the goal was for mid to late April to advertise for bids and to award the contract in the first week of June. Fluhr further added that MSA would write a letter on the village's behalf for more grant money for the project. He said the project could come in up to $200,000 lower than first bid. The board unanimously passed a motion to amend the contract indicating a savings of $25,100.

Fluhr also invited board members to attend a "Cinco de Mayo" celebration at MSA in Davenport, Iowa on Friday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meeting will offer board members a chance to meet members of the MSA company and ask any questions or share concerns. Among the give-aways at this meeting are a $2500 strategic planning session for a community and free mapping.

Mayor Harold Henshaw told the board and visitors that Kent Hamilton had contacted him and asked if the village would like his son's bench to be placed in the Oquawka Museum. Kent's son, Todd Hamilton, is a world renowned golfer, who won the British Open in 2004. The bench, which had been placed at Hend Co Hills Golf Course, was being offered due to the fact that Hend Co Hills has been sold and is being returned to farm ground.

Police Chief Brad Mowen was present and gave his monthly report, which included sixty-one service calls and seven total arrests for the month. Two of these arrests were felonies; one was an arrest for arson. Chief Mowen was asked why the police department was not using the brown car. Chief Mowen said the brown car is unsafe as it has a leak in the exhaust manifold. He was also asked if the police would patrol the basketball court with more frequency.

In a sometimes heated discussion, board members and residents discussed some bushes in an alley. "The bushes were placed on city property years and years ago, and if a fence goes in, it will narrow the alley" said Mayor Henshaw. The bushes are owned by Joe Mowder and businessman Kevin Moore desires to place a fence up next to the alley. Village attorney, Mike Neff said, "The issue is between two community members, and is not a village matter." Resident Ronald Bigger stated, "The bushes are in the alley. Isn't the alley city owned? It is necessary to maintain a thoroughfare in the alley."

It was said that Moore is going to observe a 2' set back, even though he is not required to do so. The bushes will be trimmed back and the Mayor will talk with both parties and bring back information to next month's meeting.

Board members also discussed the use of golf carts on city streets. Mayor Henshaw said they have been looking into it and at this time the insurance company will not allow it. Attorney Neff told the board and residents, the village needs to have a study to ascertain at what speeds vehicles travel along roads which they would ascertain as "golf cart" roads. The study also needs to look at the size of the vehicles, etc. The village will try to get volunteers for this study.

In the mean time, a Safety Committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on April 22, 2013.

In other business, the board: