Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School District will again take a detailed look at its facilities. The school board wants to form another facilities committee, similar to a panel created in 2001. Business Manager Greg Reynolds says the committee would consist of community, education, business, and government leaders from throughout the city. Some of the short term goals, presented by the previous committee, included building a new alternative school and selling the old middle school lot on Main Street.
Fort Madison, IA – An effort to increase the cost of water in Fort Madison is on hold. The Fort Madison City Council voted to delay the final vote on a proposed water rate increase for at least a couple of weeks. The measure under consideration would increase monthly water bills for residential and commercial customers by about 25%. Industrial and wholesale rates would also go up. Alderman Greg Smith says the council needs more information about what the new revenue will be used for. The council will hold a workshop, next Tuesday, to discuss the future of the city's water system.
Keokuk, IA – Iowa lawmakers may soon take up the issue of helping small businesses deal with higher health insurance costs. Cities and counties across Iowa have seen the impact of the rising cost of health insurance as they have crafted budgets for next year. State Representative Phil Wise says small businesses are also feeling the crunch. The Keokuk Democrat says a panel of 5 republicans and 4 democrats has been working for months to come up with a way to help businesses with between 2 and 50 employees.
Fort Madison, IA – Property taxes should be on the decline in Lee County. The Board of Supervisors has finalized Lee County's spending plan for the next fiscal year. The budget includes an 8% reduction in the county's urban property tax rate, and a 4 percent drop in the rural rate. The spending plan does contain staff reductions. The conservation department is slated to lose two workers due to the supervisors cutting the roadside management program from next year's budget. Conservation director Tom Buckley says that would have a major impact on the department.