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Okawville Board Hears Complaints From Tilden

By Jill Moon

The April 25 meeting of the Okawville Village Board began with an address by the Official Representative of Tilden, Wilbur Franklin.

Franklin requested an apology from Okawville Mayor David Jasper for recent remarks Jasper has made regarding unkempt residences in Tilden.

Franklin called Mayor Jasper’s remarks “unprofessional” adding that property issues existed all over Southern Illinois. Franklin said, “a true government official would not shamefully point out two specific communities.” He added that Tilden has a coding office and has begun the process of issuing citations to property owners who are not meeting village standards.

Gale Rothwell of Tilden, also in attendance with three more
Tilden residents, disagreed with Franklin saying they were supportive of Mayor Jasper and Okawville and would like, ”for Tilden to have the things that Okawville has.”

Jasper reported that he has been asked by other communities how to get things done and cleaned up. He said, “You have to pass strong ordinances and have police to enforce them.” He said Okawville still has issues, mentioning a recent repossession and ongoing issues with the bulk of police calls going to the trailer park. He did not issue an apology.

Chairman Morris Ritzel of the Finance and Contracts Committee reported that his committee had reviewed expenses from the previous 11 months for the Water and Sewer Operating and Maintenance Fund (WSOM) and the General Fund (GF) and those figures would be available for the Board in the next week.

Chairman Nathan Dick of the Streets and Sidewalks committee reported that all the new street signs have arrived and are in the process of being installed. He said there will not be a stop sign installed at the corner of Washington Ave. and Second St. as requested by a resident as it is a two-way intersection. Chairman Dick said the committee had been asked to accept streets in the Twin Oaks subdivision to be taken care of by the Village. The committee declined.

Chairperson Sarah Deterding of the Police and Liquor Committee reported that the ambulance service wants to help supplying the Individual First Aid Kits (IFAK). Priority will go to squad cars then individual officers. She also said that a new battery and pads had been bought for the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Chairperson Deterding also reported that warnings had been issued to residents regarding junk vehicles and un-mown grass. She also reported $1,822.66 in fines from the circuit clerk and video gaming netted a record-high $4,319.53. She said the committee had also discussed the need for a third police car as one needed to be replaced and this issue might come before the board next month.

In his three month report Okawville Police Chief Stephen Milliken reported that his department had made three (3) heroin arrests and one hydrocodone arrest.

Chairperson Ronda Pryor commented in her report to the board that her committee approved salary increases for Village employees of 3-8%.

Chairman Brian Nelson said the Water Sewer Committee had been informed that the standpipe repair and inspection are complete. They are waiting on the final report. He introduced a motion to solicit bids to replace a section of waterline around The Original Springs Hotel (at 3000 feet) which was approved.

The next Village Board meeting will be on Tuesday May 31st in observance of Memorial Day. The Board approved liquor licenses for Circle K, Road Ranger, and Okawville Community Club. Also semi-annual liquor licenses were approved for Plum Creek Golf Course LLC, American Legion Post #223, and Christ Brothers Inc.