The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Ohler-Bigger Square Off in Dispute At Oquawka Board Meeting

By Sally Day for the Quill

Lewis Ohler, resident, took his place at the microphone during the Monday night, April 7, 2014, meeting of the Oquawka Village Board. He stated his objections to a dumpster near his fence.

The dumpster belongs to the Hub Restaurant, owned by Sue and Ron Bigger. Ohler claims the land belongs to the City Park and the dumpster should be moved. He says that due to the stench from the dumpster he cannot enjoy his own back yard.

Sue Bigger, owner of the Hub, stated her case, saying that she had been told that the village does not own the property in question, but rather Oquawka Township owns it. "The Hub has been there 35-40 and the dumpster has always been there, not just since I have owned it." She further stated, "If he thinks it stinks now, he ain't seen nothing."

Attorney Andy Doyle noted that if the property in question does belong to the city, the dumpster would have to be moved due to the liability.

Each board member had an overview picture of the property. Attorney Doyle stated he would go to the Assessor's Office and find out who owned the property and would send a letter out in the next few days with the board's findings.

Mayor Sandra Moody spoke to the board about nine laptops from the state which were available. Carolyn Anderson has offered to program these for a total of $175. The board passed a motion to pay Anderson to do so.

Mayor Moody also said she had been in contact with Dopher Thompson, who told her that the docks would not be put back into the Mississippi River until May, due to possible flooding. The board further decided to get some prices on dredging the river in front of First Street.

Truck parking at the track was also discussed. Some people have been using the electricity at this location. Every time trucks are unplugged, they are plugged back in, within a few hours. Electricity costs were nearly $100 more than they had been at this location. The electricity has been turned off at this location. The mayor said she is going to press charges against violators.

She also mentioned that children have been seen recently, placing nails behind tires.

The "animal" situation was another topic addressed by the mayor. Mayor Moody mentioned geese, chickens, goats and pot bellied pigs could possibly be problems. Board member Nancy Bundy said, "I would rather see the cat problems taken care of." Added John Fedler, board member, "I don't want to be wakened early on my day off." He said this referring to roosters which some people within the city limits own. These problems have been appearing on social media lately. The decision was made that if people complain to Police Chief Keith DeJaynes, then the problem would be addressed.

The animal situation came under the heading of the Green River Ordinance, an ordinance commonly given to one prohibiting door-to-door salesmen, etc. They could not sell their wares without explicit permission from local governments.

Which brought the group to exactly that, selling door to door. These vendors need to pick up permission registrations from Village Hall. These and all ordinances will be discussed at a separate meeting addressing this issue.

During Police Chief DeJaynes Report the following was stated: Police calls had resulted in Criminal: 1. DUI, 2. Battery, 3. Criminal Trespass. Agency Assists - 2 County Assists and 4 Ambulance Assists. Domestic: 1 Domestic call. Tavern Calls: 2 calls. Ordinance: Burning Garbage within City Limits. Golf Cart Inspections: 3. Traffic: 8 Speeding Tickets, 5 Stop Sign Tickets, 4 Warnings, 1 Traffic Accident. Other Calls: 24. Warrants: 2. Fuel 192.5 gallons. Mileage: 1,378. Fines: $424.62.

Chief DeJaynes also noted that he had received inquiries if someone could obtain a golf cart sticker if they did not live in town. After re-reading the Ordinance, Attorney Andy Doyle said there was nothing in the ordinance stating that someone had to be an Oquawka resident. As long as they meet the other criteria and pay the $30 annual fee anyone can purchase a sticker.

Fire Chief Troy Jern noted that a ticket had been issued on a trash burning complaint. He further stated that he wanted to thank everyone involved in getting water and offering showers to those who were without water in the past couple of months. He thanked the Lincoln Logs, Bill Tobias, Perry Parsons, and Henry Grawet for manning and providing a place to store the "shower truck".

In other business, the board: