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Oquawka Village Board Sept. Meeting

The Oquawka Village Board held it’s regularly scheduled meeting on September 5th. Present were Trustees Don Rice, Tammy Bundy, Scott Ray, Shawn Hurt; Village President Lori Lipes; Village Attorney Andy Youngquist; Village Clerk Callie Thacker; and Village Water Clerk Carey Thacker. Trustees Brock Miller and Troy Jern were absent.


Resident Barry McClintock addressed the board to say he had recently purchased a property located at 601 North 2nd Steet and had since become aware that a neighbor across the street intends to install two RV camping spots. McClintock offered the board a number of reasons of why campers are a bad idea to have inside Village limits including Lower tax revenue, eyesore, possible bio-hazard from black water, and noise. He offered examples of other towns zoning ordinances pertaining to limited usage of campers in residential areas and requested the Village Board put in place similar laws.


Lipes told the board there was a problem with a pump at the Oquawka Pool and it needed replaced. She stated it would cost $3300 to have a new pump installed and went on to say she had contacted the insurance company to see if it would be covered.


Streets Supervisor Jeff Petersen noted the water line project at Green Street has been completed.


Rice stated he had been asked by several people what the total cost was to the Village for the new police car. Bundy stated the car cost $57,478 and the Village was reimbursed $43,100 from a grant. Total cost for the Village was $14,378


Parks and Tourism committee member Brenda Tee addressed the board to say there was a need for six heavy duty drop cords to supply vendors power at the Schuyler Street Stroll. Tee estimated the cost at around $80 per cord for a total of approximately $480. When Rice asked why the vendors don’t bring their own cords, Tee explained the outlets are near the top of the power poles and are normally used for the Village’s Christmas lights. She stated they like to have the cords plugged in and ready for the vendors to use so no one has to climb ladders during the Stroll. The board agreed to purchase the cords.

I asked the board if there had been any progress on the Village riverfront campground idea. Lipes stated she had been trying to get ahold of Cindy Brown to ask if she had any contacts at the Illinois DNR so that the Village could ask questions on how to proceed but had not been able to reach her at the time of this meeting.


Scott Ray asked the board if they would be willing to pay for half of the sidewalk that runs along 3rd Street in front of The United Methodist Church. If the Board agreed, it’s half would be around $3100. No decision was made at this time.


A representative of a gaming company addressed the board to ask that the Phillips 66 station be granted a Class A liquor license in order that it could have gambling machines installed. Illinois state law requires a “pour” license in order to have gambling machines on the premises.  

The board had some concerns such as drinking alcohol in the station and local bar owners losing business. The representative explained the station would price the beer at $10/each and the beer would not be kept cold. Lipes stated she didn’t think it would affect local bars because she felt it would be a different clientele. When Lipes asked for a motion to grant the license, Youngquist stated they could not vote on it tonight because it needed to be specifically on the agenda.  Youngquist went on to read a Village ordinance which stated a person under 21 could not be in an establishment that sold alcohol unless the minor was with a parent or guardian. He said this could be a problem because a child may not be allowed in the station to buy a candy bar or bottle of pop unless their parent was with them. When the representative stated kids go into bars all the time to eat, Youngquist answered they would typically be with a parent and you don’t often see a minor go into a bar and grill by themselves. Youngquist wants to look into the law further and the subject will be on next month’s agenda.


The board entered closed session. No reason was given to the public. There was no action taken upon leaving the closed session.

Jeff Tee
River Rat News
“Just the facts, Ma’am”