The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Wrestles With Water Issues

by: Deb Olson, Quill Reporter 

The Oquawka Village Board met on Tuesday February 2nd in the Village Hall with Mayor Sandra Fullerton-Moody calling the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

All trustees were present except Scott Ray to approve the January minutes and financials.

Attendance was sparse, limited to trustees, village staff and a couple of onlookers. Because of the small number of people present it wasn't surprising that although the agenda provided for a Public Forum, no one came forward to speak.

Water issues were addressed and Mayor Moody began her report by discussing the need to get an up-to-date list from the Health Department of all water accounts in order to confirm that the accounts are current and infrastructure payments have been made.

Attorney Andy Youngquist added to this discussion by reminding those present of proposed amendments to the water ordinance including: a raise in the deposit from $50 to $75; a $15 penalty for late fee which continues for every month the bill has been unpaid, and a firm future commitment to turn off water on the 15th of the second month after a missed payment.

It was moved and seconded to amend ordinance 797 which deals with water department issues. With passage of the new amended ordiance 873, the changes will go into effect in April.

Treasurer and Water Department Clerk Chris Peterson proposed using a new work order form which would better coordinate communication between the office and various departments and would provide for a more transparent accounting of daily work.

The board also addressed the proposal to vacate alley block 116 OTP which had been brought to the board in January by Cindy Henry. This proposal would extend the lots of property owners on either side of the alley and could result in a minimal increase in property taxes.

It was noted that because of trees growing in said alley that it is all but impassable. Board members noted that in some cases property owner's access to their lots came through this alley and the proposal to vacate might limit this access.

Henry was asked if she had plans to extend a garage into the alley and she replied that indeed a car port might be built adjacent to and extending into said alley.

Trustee Lafferty noted that the alley would be an ideal location for any future sewer work.

Most board members expressed mixed feeling about the proposal. In the end, the proposal died for lack of a motion.

Youngquist also recommended passage of a previously discussed municipal tax ordinance which would make village utility accounts tax exempt. This resulted in passage of ordinance 872 which would accomplish this.

In other reports to the board:

Deputy DeJaynes January report is as follows:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.