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Oquawka Sets Trick or Treat Time

The Oquawka Village Board held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 6th and approved times for Trick or Treat for Saturday, October 31st from 5-8pm.

Nancy stated she had been in contact with Troy Jern about the wiener roast and was told they were not going to have it this year.

Tee and Tammy Bundy both asked if the Village would put on the wiener roast. Tee then suggested the Parks and Tourism Committee put something on at Museum Park. Nancy asked if the Village would donate apple cider for the event. Collier made a motion to provide cider to the wiener roast, second by Bundy. All approved. The Wiener Roast will be Saturday, October 31st 3-6pm before trick or treat.


A Resident addressed the board with a complaint about the blue abandoned mobile home which sits in the 600 block of North 7th street near his property. He noted that there have been complaints about the property brought to the board in the past and stated it was now full of feral cats, raccoons, and recently has attracted skunks to the area.

He went on to say the smell is so bad at times that they can't even be outside. He said he would like to have something done about the vacant building before someone gets hurt by a rabid animal.

Police Chief Clifford Adam noted the owners had been given a ticket back in May or June.

When asked by the resident if that was where it ended, Clifford stated that once he writes the ticket, then starts the court process.

Nancy said she would check on the status of the ticket and let him know what's going on with it.



Collier went over a list of possible items that the Antique Fire Truck may need according to an estimate that he obtained from Eric Chockley. Collier recommended the board vote to approve up to $1500 to repair the truck. Tee made a motion to approve up to $1500 for the repairs. Second by Rice. All members approved the motion.


The city has one lot on the corner of 3rd and Green Streets that they are considering selling. The lot once had a back up water well on it. The well has been removed but some of the underground piping still exists.

It was decided the piping would be removed before the sale. Youngquist had drawn up a sale notice which stated a minimum bid of $1000 and a bid window of 30 days. Tee motioned to sell the property, second by Lain. All approved.



Tee stated she found an appraiser to do the commercial property which qualifies for the DNR buyout program. The appraisal will cost $1500. She went on to say that she had spoken with Ron Davis from DNR and he has advised that is a fair price and the Village would be reimbursed even if the property owner declines the offer. Motion by Lain to pay the appraiser $1500. Second by Tammy Bundy. All members voted yes. Motion Carried.



Troy Shelton from the utility Equipment Company explained a new automatic water metering system. The meters work off the exiting cellular network and eliminate the need for an employee to go house to house and physically read the meter. They also offer other advantages such as the customer can look up and view information about their water usage from any computer or device. It would also allow the administrators to have real time information at their fingertips including water leakage and overall water usage. The cost is $250 per meter and there are no subscription or other on going fees. They also offer a starter package which includes 5 meters and all the software needed for $1500. It was noted that there are around 700 meters in town and the cost to automate all of them would be approximately $175,000. Tammy Bundy made a motion to purchase the starter pack. Second by Collier. All members voted yes. Motion carried.


Resident Bruce Ruberg addressed the board with some ideas and concerns.

He noted an existing Illinois state law that made it illegal to blow grass clippings on to a roadway but stated the law doesn't get enforced. He asked the Board to implement its own ordinance so that it could be enforced by a Village Policeman.

Collier said he didn't feel they needed to pass an ordinance because there was already a state law and both a County or Village deputy could enforce a state law. Bruce stated he has been told in the past there was nothing that could be done because it wasn't a city or county issue, it was a state issue. He also noted that in the past he has been told by county dispatchers that the deputy was in Stronghurst and couldn't respond in a timely manner. Collier reiterated that if he called the Sheriff's office and was told they wouldn't enforce a state law then they weren't doing their job. Nancy suggested they discuss it at the work session and do some research on the existing law in the meantime.

Bruce then asked why semi-trucks couldn't permanently use Pike Street instead of Schuyler Street as a means of getting to and from the elevator since they can detour on Pike Street in times of construction and special events. He noted it would be much more inexpensive to fix a tar and chipped street rather than a concrete street. Rice stated they could not run semi-trucks on Pike Street because there is no turn lane onto the street from State Hwy 164. He said it was against D.O.T. regulations to do so. He went on to say that they could detour trucks down the road on a temporary basis but if they tried to do it permanently, the state would shut them down. Bruce asked why there was no need for a turn lane to turn on to main street. Rice answered because there was a stop sign. Lain stated he would love to run trucks down Pike but without the turn lane it would be impossible. Tee noted the people that live on Pike Street probably wouldn't like it much. Lain went on to explain that when the south levee was built, it was designed to have truck traffic run from the elevator to the highway but it was eventually nixed because there was no turn lane on to Calhoun Street from the highway.

The discussion then turned to the truck traffic backing up on to Schuyler Street as far as Fisher's Food Center. Tee stated CGB has plans to tear down the old scale house and use that space for extra staging room. Rice said if it continues, the Village would have to have to approach CGB about lining up trucks outside of town. He said he didn't know how they would coordinate it but the Village can't allow them to hold downtown hostage.

Bruce said the last issue he had pertained to the property owned by Mattson Marine, formerly Devore's Marina. He said the property was inside city limits and felt Mattson should keep the property cleaner by keeping the weeds, trees, and grass trimmed. He stated we are a river town and people drive down that road to look at the river and you can't see the river because of the overgrown trees and weeds. He said he felt the Village should enforce their ordinance and make Mattson clean up the property. It was unclear if Mattson would be contacted about the property.


This is a procedure vote pertaining to a property sale and future subdivision on 3rd street to be named Sandlot Subdivision. All voted yes.


Present were Village President Nancy Bundy; Trustees Don Rice, Shawn Lain, Tammy Bundy, Brian Collier, Brenda Tee; Village Clerk Jacqui Smith; and Village Attorney Andy Youngquist. Trustee Scott Ray was absent.

Jeff Tee

River Rat News