The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka business owners want public to know businesses are open

By Sally Day for the Quill

Pat Reedy, Business Operations Manager of MSA Engineering was on hand at the Oquawka Village Board meeting, Monday night, September 9, 2013, to give an update to the board on the Schuyler Street Project. He began by saying, "We are off to a start - a rough start, but a start." He noted that the trouble was caused by the maps of water lines provided by the village were older and not entirely accurate.

He continued by saying that many times the locations of water pipes are locked in the memory of people who are no longer with us or that pipes and/or valves have been moved over the years and the maps not updated. Resident Ron Bigger asked, "How did the barricading come into play? We are barricaded in." Ron and his wife, Sue own and operate the Village Hub, a local restaurant. Sue Bigger explained that some people visiting Oquawka see the barricades as they turn onto Schuyler Street and think the entire street is barricaded. They then turn around and drive home.

Reedy noted that there has already been a big disruption and inconvenience, but in the end it will be worth it. "We are working through the problems," he said. "And we can continue that with level headed conversation." Reedy noted that he had been told someone had moved the signs and had driven over the curing concrete. The person responsible needs to know that only slows down the progress of the progress.

Sue Bigger complained that sometimes the town looked like a ghost town and the workers were not working. Reedy said there was nothing for them to do while they were working on the water situation. It was decided to work on a portion of the East section of the project.

Reedy concluded by saying that business owners and home owners along the route of the project should consider replacing their water lines into their homes and businesses. The board approved a payment application for the Schuyler Street Project, of $223,445.70, contingent on the funding agencies review. Businessman and resident, Ron James asked if this payment was for work and materials already in place or on upcoming work. He was told this was on work and materials completed.

In a discussion pertaining to insurance for the village, Jeff Stanton of Stanton Insurance and Ron James of James Insurance, both agreed to meet at an Insurance Committee Meeting on September 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall. They will discuss billage building values, prior to deciding which insurance company will handle their needs. The board also needs to determine how much liability they should carry. This decision needs to be finalized by November 1.

Oquawka Police Officer, Angie Garson gave the police report, which included the following: Service Calls - Criminal - intoxicated pedestrian, juveniles trespassing (2); Agency Assists - prisoner and ambulance (2); Domestic (2); Civil Disturbance (5); Tavern - disorderly subject (2); Ordinance - fireworks, barking dog (2) and chicken at large; Golf Cart Inspections (2); Other - return dog to owner, welfare check, burglar alarm, golf ball complaint and juveniles on golf cart; Traffic - verbal (3), Ordinance Citations for speed (8), seat belt, insurance, and stop sign (2), Miscellaneous; and State Citations (3). Two arrests were made, one criminal and one warrant.

Police Officer Garson told board members and the nearly 30 guests present that she plans on manning a booth during Heritage Trail Days. Halloween safety will be the issue she wants to address. There will also be a Halloween Coloring Contest.

Officer Garson is establishing a new reward system for young people. Anyone in the community is encouraged to nominate a young person when they are "caught" doing something good; random acts of goodness toward the community. Officer Garson would like to introduce these young people (up to the age of 17) at the next village board meeting. She asked to use village hall to have a pizza party for these young people. Prizes have been donated by local businesses. Village resident Ron Bigger suggested Officer Garson be compensated for her time and effort into this endeavor. The board thought Officer Garson's was a good idea and would discuss it further later.

The board also heard from Rosalie Melvin and Ann Hass to ask for a donation for a D.J. during the Oquawka Fall Festival to be held September 28. This will take place at the Museum Park beginning at 9 a.m. Rosalie invited all to attend, telling the board and visitors how much this would have meant to the late Andy Melvin, Rosalie's husband. The board agreed to donate $450 to the D.J., Mike Ripple for the event.

In other business, the board: