The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

New Oquawka Village Squad Car To Be Put In Service Friday

By: Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Owner/Publisher

Oquawka: Deputy Keith DeJaynes said, the Oquawka Village's new Crown Victoria squad car would be ready to be put into service this Friday, as he finished up a somewhat lengthy police report from the department's March activities.

At the regular April meeting Monday evening, the 6th, Oquawka Mayor Sandra Fullerton-Moody, opened the meeting and all stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance including a room full of guests.

Clerk Nancy Huff presented the March minutes and bills and February's Treasurers' report which were approved.

The Annual Appropriation Ordinance #864 was approved on a motion by Jason Howard, seconded by Robert Eldridge. The 2015 Budget had no changes from 2014.

The board discussed the need for a fee for the elevator to help pay for upkeep of the village streets due to their heavy traffic, and it will be looked into about an annual fee.

The board decided to table talk of peddlers in town such as meat salesman, vacuum salesman, bug salesman, and those with regular routes such as Schwan's until next month to check a past Ordinance that already deals with this issue, which was thought to have exempted sales from scouts, Avon, etc.

A reminder about the golf cart fee collection the village requires that ends April 30th and begins again May 1st for a year. Those with golf carts are reminded to be sure to pay this fee.

The board was asked if they want to continue repairing the old water department to rent it. The lathe is showing and walls need repaired. A tapestry is hiding a 3' x 3 " hole. It will be discussed in a committee meeting on what is best and the need for a contractor or bids for any work and brought back to the May board meeting.

Liquor license classes were discussed and Clerk Huff was asked to explain the differences in the classes.

Oquawka has three classes right now.

Class A- The Average bar with full hours allows patrons to go in and take their drink there. Their fee is $1200.

Class B- Restaurant-limits your drinking to only while you eat, and you can't take your drink out on the sidewalk, nor can you just go in and order a drink. The fee for restaurants is $700.

The Club, such as Elks or Eagles Club, has another set of rules with limited drinking. Its fee is $600.

Class C- Gas Station and Grocery Stores are limited on their hours, and you can't go into them and drink, but only buy packaged liquor. The Class C fee is $1200.

The Mayor said it was suggested to eliminate the classes and/or have all fees be the same per year.

Attorney Doyle explained that grocery stores and gas stations probably sell a lot more liquor than bars so the fee would be pretty cheap for them.

The board seemed to agreed for now, to keep the fees as they are and the three classes to avoid another ordinance change. Even though there are no restaurants or clubs using a Class B liquor license, one might come in and they would have to put them back into place with yet another ordinance.

However, the board will talk about it in committee.

The Mayor reminded people to vote April 7th. Trustee Jason Howard did not seek re-election and five others are running for three positions.

It was discussed about the problem of businesses not having any business numbers on their property. "We aren't going to make anyone do this," Mayor Fullerton-Moody said, "but businesses could come to Village Hall and get the number of your business." The Mayor explained the difficulty a Taxi driver had in finding EagleView.

May 16th is City-Wide Clean-up days.

It was talked about the abuse of people illegally dumping into other people's dumpsters and trash containers.

Ron James of James Insurance gave an overview of a better offering for Health Insurance comparing Pekin to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois. What the board is paying now for employees is $2524.67 a month for Pekin which includes $15,000 life and a typical ObamaCare Health plan. It has $2,000 deductible, $4,000 if out of the network. James explained the Blue Cross/Blue Shield advantages and a lower monthly fee, however it does not include the life insurance. Instead, James proposed adding another company for the life insurance, and still brought the total a month down. The Blue Cross/Blue Shield offers $1793 a month and the life insurance adds on $42.30. Oquawka presently does not have disability and he said you can add that to it if you want for $37.20 a month. The monthly fee for health and life is $1835.30 for Health/Life and $1872.50 for Health/Life/Disability. He said more coverage and less cost than the current $2524.67 they are paying now per employee.

James said, there is no pre-existing illnesses and most employees are fairly young and healthy which helps find them a better rate.

A board member said, "the deductibles are less and the premium is less, it sounds like a no brainer." The board will discuss it further in a finance committee meeting April 21st at the Village Hall at 6:30 p.m. where James may attend. Any changes in insurance can be made any month without a problem, James said.

Attorney Doyle reported he had three ordinances he has been working on. Mainly, redoing last year's Appropriation Ordinance for this year.

A second, defining what is an inoperable vehicle in order to give Deputy DeJaynes more clarity in what is a junk car and what needed to be taken off of property in an attempt to clean up the village.

Another Ordinance on property included doing a search on how to handle issues with people operating wells on their property and not using village water, along with other issues needing addressed.

Scott Ray asked if they needed to advertise for part time help or if they planned on hiring the same ones from last year at the pool, etc, and he was told "no".

In other business the board heard reports from:

The Board went into closed session at 8:06 to discuss employees wages.

All trustees were present with the exception of Troy Jern who had another obligation on this evening.

The next meeting of the board will be May 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall on Schuyler Street. Meetings are open to the pubic.