Keokuk, IA – The cost of insurance could actually help the Keokuk Police Department add an officer. Police Chief Tom Crew projected a 20% jump in the cost of his department's health insurance premiums for the fiscal year that begins in July. The city believes the hike will only be about 3%. The city council says Crew should rework his numbers, using the new insurance estimates, to see if he can add several new officers to the force. Crew has asked the council for permission to hire 3 new full-time officers and to promote a clerical workers to full-time.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk's teachers are looking for a pay hike during the upcoming school year. The Keokuk Education Association's opening contract offer includes a roughly 5% hike of the base pay for teachers, to $29,400. The organization wants to add a step to the current pay scale and is open to negotiations on the calender for the 2008-2009 school year and on health insurance premiums. The district currently pays for single policies and employees make up the difference for a family plan.
Burlington, IA – The Burlington School District could have a new superintendent within a couple of weeks. The school board selected Jane Evans and Leland Morrison as the 2 finalists for the post. Evans is Burlington's assistant school superintendent. Morrison is superintendent of the Hampton-Dumont School District in North Central Iowa. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of the Central Lee School District. Business Manager Chris Van Meter says the school board could make its decision as soon as the 29th, with negotiations getting underway soon after.
Macomb, IL – A reduced number of judges has set back court hearings on a detachment case in western Illinois. Schuyler-Industry Superintendent says he's been notified that the hearing on issues involving the transfer of students from his district to Macomb will be Feb. 21.
Carthage, IL – Carthage will seek emergency funding to help alter the arrangement of its water treatment plant. Mayor James Nightingale says now when the city's smaller water tower is full, the city can take no more water from tahe Hamilton pipeline. He says the change will let Hamilton water go directly to the clear well and allow the city to draw as much as it needs. He says the project could cost up to $220,000, and aldermen will seek an emergency grant that could pay up to $100,0000 of that cost. Nightingale says the solution will help in the short-run.
Macomb, IL – While Illinois' funding formula for schools is often criticized, an education expert says another issue related to finances also needs to be addressed. That issue is organizational structure. WIU Educational Leadership Program Chairman Bob Hall says there are too many school districts in Illinois. He says if there were fewer districts, there would be fewer administrators. That would free up more money for the classroom. Hall thinks the recent convergence in Hancock County was a move in the wrong direction - going from three districts to four.
Macomb, IL – Another new housing complex is being proposed for Macomb, but this time it's not for students. The plan calls for building an assisted living center for seniors on Grant Street just east of Candy Lane. It would have 48 rooms. Developer Kevin Williams also owns and operates Red Oak Estates, which is an assisted living center in Canton. He declined to say how much it cost to build that facility and could not provide an estimated price tag for the Macomb project. He hopes to break ground as soon as conditions allow it and complete construction this summer.