The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Oquawka Board

by Jeff Tee- Oquawka

The Oquawka Village Board held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday September 7th. Present were Trustees Don Rice, Shawn Lain, Tammy Bundy, Brian Collier, Scott Ray; Village Clerk Callie Thacker; Village Attorney Andy Youngquist; and Village President Lori Lipes. Trustee Brenda Tee was absent.


Lipes stated she had talked with a distributor to get pricing on replacing water meters. Meters are $125/each. The end point, which is the device that transmits the electronic information to the end user, is $250/each. An automatic shut off feature is available as a package with the endpoint at a total cost of $369/each.

There are around 690 meters in the village so the cost would be around $254,735.

Tammy asked if the end points are compatible with existing meters. Streets and water Supervisor Jeff Petersen said they are compatible.

Lain asked if they really need the automatic shut-off feature. Lain went on to say that he felt they should leave existing meters in basements and install shut off valves on the right of way so that if workers and meter readers were denied access to the inside meters, they could shut service off outside the home.

Ray said he would prefer having all village owned property, including water meters, to be located on city property and not inside people's homes. Lain agreed but said removing all existing water meters from inside homes could be cost prohibitive.

Bundy said the point of trying to get the water system grant of up to $800,000 is so they can do it all at one time and be done with it. Lipes said she thought there needs to be more discussion on the topic and they should table it for now.

Lipes asked attorney Youngquist to explain the minimum wage and overtime pay laws regarding lifeguards.

Youngquist explained lifeguards are exempt from overtime pay but are not exempt from minimum wage. He went on to say that Illinois minimum wage is staggered for minors, depending on their age.


Youngquist stated they have discovery gathered for the tree case and a trial date is to be set. Collier asked if they were going to trial. Youngquist answered at this point they are going to trial.  


The board voted unanimously to provide porta-pottys for the Schuyler Street Stroll at a cost of $640. The board also agreed to shut down Schuyler Street from 2nd Street to 6th Street for The Stroll which will be held on Saturday, September 25th.


The board voted unanimously to approve the 2021 water budget.

Seeks Special Building Priviledge

Attorney LaMarr Evans, who is representing Ron and Betty Killip, addressed the board to ask if they would pre-approve building on a half lot. The Killip's own a half lot and would like to sell it. They have a prospective buyer; however, the buyer would like assurance that they can build on it after the purchase. It is currently against city ordinance to build a residence on a half lot. Evans noted the adjoining property was granted a permit to build a two-story house.

Ray noted what Mr. Evans was really asking was for a variance to build on the property.

Mr. Evans replied yes, but without going through the procedure.  Youngquist stated he didn't think the board could do that. He went on to say that he didn't think the board could anticipate what the application was going to be.

Youngquist said there is a process and he felt the applicant would need to go through that process. He went on to say he didn't think that the fact that the Killip's had a dilemma is necessarily a reason to go outside of the zoning process.

Evans asked Youngquist if he was in his position would Youngquist be advising them to seek a building permit? Youngquist stated he was not in his position and would not give his clients legal advice.

There will be a special meeting on September 23rd at 6:30 p.m. to review applications for the new Oquawka Police Chief position.

Complaints of Truck Parking Lot

There have been complaints from neighbors about trucks not following the rules at the truck parking lot. Most recently, complaints have made about a stock trailer and its odor.

The idea of shutting the truck lot down came up at the previous work session due to the hassle it has brought to the neighbors and the board. A handful of drivers were in attendance to lobby to keep the lot open.

Lain stated the lot was not a necessity, but a privilege.  He said he has fought to keep the lot open but he was getting tired of the problems it created.

Rice stated the people that use the lot need to show respect for the neighbors and self-police it so that it can remain open. Lain stated if livestock trailers continue to park there, it's going to be an issue.

Collier agreed, saying he's been 100% on the trucker's side but if stock trailers continue to park there, he would vote against keeping it open.

Lain went on to say that if it stays open, the rules will be strictly enforced and violators will be towed.

Collier made a motion to keep the lot open through the rest of the year and then have a review to decide if it would remain open beyond that date.

All members voted yes. Motion carried.

Meeting Adjourned

Jeff Tee
River Rat News
"Just the facts, Ma'am"