Galesburg, lIL – Galesburg's chief economic development worker believes his successor will have an easier time of it than he has had. Eric Voyles is leaving for a similar job in Rockford. Shortly after he started the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association five years ago, the town lost most of its manufacturing plants, including Admiral, Butler, National Steel and others. Voyles says developers must focus first on retention and only then can they attract manufacturing plants.
Keokuk, IA – A new value-added agricultural plant is on its way to Lee County. Tri-City Energy has announced its plan to build a bio-diesel plant and a soybean curshing facility in Keokuk. The more than $50,000,000 project will be completed in 3 phases and will create about 60 jobs. Tri-City Energy General Manager, John Rothgeb, says his group consists of 4 local investors. He says this project could be a chance for even more residents to invest in Keokuk and Southeast Iowa. Rothgeb says the project has been in the works for more than 2 years.
New Boston, IL – A bi-state group is working to re-establish ferry service between New Boston, Illinois and Oakville, Iowa. Terry Elliot chairs the Illowa Ferryboat and Development Corporation. He says the group has $360,000 in federal and state grants to begin studies. He says engineering and environmental studies could be underway within the year. Elliot says ferry service began at New Boston before the Civil War. The last ferry made its run in 1973. He says a feasibility study done three years ago showe re-establishing the service would boost tourism and business.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County Circuit Clerk Kim Wilson wants the county board to increase two fees that are added to court cases when they're filed. Wilson says shke's running out of space to store the 10,000 or more documents that are filed with her office every year. She wants to increase to $10 from $5 the automation fee and the document storage fee. The former is to help cover the cost of computers and networks needed to handle the office operations.