Answers: Questions about flags on telephone poles, boats in Quincy Bay

Posted: Sep. 21, 2012 9:03 pm Updated: Sep. 20, 2013 5:53 pm


There are school flags on telephone poles on Jackson from Ninth to 12th. Isn't this illegal?

The flags in question belong to Quincy Notre Dame High School, and the school campus takes up much of the property between Ninth and 11th along Jackson in the city's south end. Bill Connell, the athletic director and head football coach at QND, said the flags were erected on the poles "about 20 years ago" after a request was made to the Quincy City Council.

"All (the flags do is) support the high school that's in direct contact with this area," Connell said. "It beautifies this area of town. We've done everything with our campus to upgrade it and to make it look as beautiful as it can be. Plus, this isn't the only place that they're hanging around town."

Similar flags fly along the streets near Quincy University and Flinn Stadium, home of the Quincy High School athletic teams.

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp could not find the specific resolution allowing the flags, but he said it is common to allow Quincy schools to fly the flags.

"If you would like to fly a flag for some reason, call your alderman, and they can get the right permits to get permission," he said.

He emphasized that no city funds are used to erect or maintain the flags.

Connell said this is the "fourth or fifth" set of flags used.

"We've got a group of dads with our football committee who put them up before the season and take them down after the season," he said.


What is the story of the boat and permanent-type dock in the Quincy Bay across from The Pier? We have a boat in the Marina and are curious about this.

A houseboat has been spotted at various local locations along the Mississippi River. The owner of the boat reportedly works construction jobs in the area, and he will bring his boat to the area and tie it to shore. As long as the boat remains in public waters, it can stay in a certain location for up to 14 days before it must be moved.

Bill Gretten, Mississippi River Project operations manager with the Rock Island District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said if the boat is docked near the dock-type structure near the Pier, it is on land owned by the City of Quincy.

"We don't own 100 percent of the shoreline, and in places when he's out of our jurisdiction, there's not much we can do until the owners of that land run him off," Gretten said. "Ownership along the river isn't simply cut and dried."

Gary Swenson, chief for the natural resource management section of Mississippi River Project office in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, said the houseboat has what appears to be 2-by-4s sticking up vertically on each corner called "spuds." If the houseboat owner decides to drop the spuds into the bed of the river to make it a permanent mooring, then a permit is needed.

Swenson said he believes the houseboat has a legal Illinois registration sticker.

"The boat can't be within so many feet of the lock (at Lock and Dam 21), and we probably wouldn't let it be tied up for two weeks at a public recreation area," Swenson said. "Our position is pretty clear. He needs to move every 14 days, and he can't drop those spuds."


Email your questions to or mail them to Answers, The Quincy Herald-Whig, 130 S. Fifth, Quincy, IL 62306.