The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Board Passes Golf Cart Ordinance

By Sally Day for the Quill

Oquawka Village board members and residents discussed the Golf Cart Ordinance during the July 1, 2013 meeting. It was decided that fees for registering the golf carts would be $30 for all. Tickets will be issued to people infringing on the laws, and the violations will cost $75 plus costs for the first offense and will go up to $150. Both gasoline and electric golf carts will be allowed, and the hours will be from sun up to sun down.

In addition, golf carts will be inspected annually, and seat belts will need to be worn in carts that have seat belts. The board passed the Golf Cart Ordinance #846.

In a surprising move, Oquawka Village Treasurer and Water Billing Clerk, Bernice "Toot" Miller asked the board to accept her resignation and the requests that were in it. Miller has held this position for nearly 20 years. The board agreed.

Resident Andy Queen was present to explain to the board that he had been very patient for a long time, but that there is a particular car blaring very loud music throughout the town. He said this goes on week ends and week days and all night long. Approximately three months ago, he complained to the Henderson County Sheriff's Department and he felt like he was treated by the department like he was the problem. After several calls to the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, he gave them his name. He had not done so before as he did not want retaliation. He was very grateful that the Sheriff's Department did talk to the offender, but was upset the deputy gave the offender his name. Attorney Mike Neff explained that the deputy may have felt the need to, showing they had proof that the offender had been doing this. Queen thanked the board for listening to him. Board member John Fedler handed Queen his private phone number and told him to call him if he continues to have a problem. To emphasize the problem, a bit later into the meeting, a car playing very loud music drove past the Village Hall.

MSA Engineer, Steve Hering was on hand to give an update on the Schuyler Street Project. Hering noted that while he was talking Mayor Sandra Moody and Attorney Mike Neff were signing the notice to proceed and the Quarterly Performance Report for the USDA Grant. The project will begin July 8, with Laviediere Construction Company in charge of the work. They will begin at the west end and move east in two block increments. There will be one-way traffic on the blocks they are working on.

Hering noted that an IKE grant in the amount of $227,972 had been granted for storm sewer improvement. He told board members that the Legislative Appropriation Grant of $40,000 was "still out there" and that Senator John Sullivan is assisting with that. He mentioned that the paper work for the project is overwhelming, but said MSA would gladly help in any way they could.

Mayor Moody asked the board to consider Vehicle City Stickers. Board member Fedler said, "I am not for this just to generate revenue. And, it is difficult to enforce." Other board members noted how many nearby towns had entirely quit this tax. The board agreed to not take further action on this at this time.

Resident Tim Vice was on hand to ask the board to consider voter recall in the future. He said he thought the current board was doing a good job, but noted that if they were not working to the best of their ability, "we need to fire you on the spot." Attorney Neff explained to the nearly 25 visitors in attendance, that the county is now the only entity which handles elections. He went on to say that years ago, elections were held more frequently. Vice thanked the board and noted that he will talk with the county.

In other business, the board:

*agreed to donate $500 to the Catfish Cook-Off Tractor Pull to be held this weekend. Board member Nancy Bundy abstained from the vote due to her involvement in the Cook-Off.

*heard from resident Henry Grawet Sr., who requested a sign be placed at the intersection to the east of the courthouse, due to the lack of visibility to persons coming up to that intersection. The board thought a "No Parking Here to Corner" might work better in this case. They will check with the courthouse to see whose jurisdiction this falls under.

*discussed a local tavern having two violations - 1) underage person being on the premises after 10 p.m., and 2) after hours operation. This tavern is not open at this time, as they have not paid for their annual license.

*heard a request from Mayor Moody for a donation to assist in replacing shrubs near the grave of Norma Jean the Elephant. A group called "Helping Hands," which Mayor Moody is a part of, has been cleaning the parking east of the Village Hub. She mentioned that the flooding has kept them from working on the River Park. Mayor Moody also said that a donation of flowers from FK and S, has been received. The board agreed to donate $200 for shrubs.

*agreed that village workers will clean up the public rest rooms near the River.

*listened to the Street and Water Department Report, given by Jeff Peterson. He mentioned that the town was holding their own in the current flooding. It was noted that there is a lot of scrap metal and aluminum in the Village and perhaps the Village could sell that and put the monies toward a new Magnetic Locator they agreed to purchase at a cost of $846.40. The Locator is being purchased from Zimmer in Moline, Illinois. Mayor Sandra Moody told Peterson he was doing a great job, and Board member Nancy Bundy told him to keep up the good work.

*Village Police Officer Angie Garson gave the Police Report, which included 13 traffic stops. Keith DeJaynes has accepted the position of Oquawka Police Chief.

*gave no resistance to Delbert "Dopher" Thompson, when he asked for a variance on property he owns. The variance asked for a 5' setback, instead of a 20' setback, on a corner lot. He explained that the structure would not hinder the view of the intersection. The Zoning Officer and Thompson will begin the process.

*heard the Pool Report from Amanda Guyton, who noted they had repaired an old pool vacuum at a cost of $50, as opposed to buying a new one for $650. She also asked that the police patrol the area a little more, as there have been fights and behavior young people should not be observing.

*discussed tree removal and accepted the low bid from Small Town Landscape and Tree Removal to remove two trees and trim one, at a cost of $750.

*tabled the discussion and passing of the Annual Appropriation Ordinance until the August meeting.

*passed the Franchise Fee Agreement made by Mediacom Cable. It remained the same.

*accepted the June bills and the May Treasurers Report.

*went into Executive Session at 8:54 p.m.