Bushnell, IL – Bushnell aldermen are waiting for an insurance settlement to repair one of the town's welcome signs. Mayor Steve Russell says the sign on the west side was hit by a car. He estimates repair costs at between $3,000 and $4,000. He says that cost could be higher if one of the pillars must be replaced.
Bloomington, IL – A study by a researcher from Illinois State University shows a major consolidation of grain elevators in the state. However, Rick Whitacre says the economies of scale are allowing them to reduce their margins, and that has kept prices paid to farmers from dropping more. Whitacre says the state has lost about half of its independent grain elevators over the past few years. He says a consolidation among farms means the elevators have fewer grain sellelrs as well.
Keokuk, IA – The US Department of Energy will not locate a new testing facility in Southeast Iowa. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory was considering 6 sites, including Keokuk, as the home of its new advanced wind turbine blade test facility. Partnerships in Texas and Massachusetts, though, were selected to move on to the next round. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the fact that Keokuk was being looked at shows that the city is moving in the right direction.
Fort Madison, IA – No one turned out in support of or against Lee County's $23,000,000 budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The Board of Supervisors approved the spending plan, which includes a roughly $0.40 decrease in the property tax rate. Chairman Larry Kruse says the budget is pretty much status quo, with few new projects or services. He says there will be money for a technology upgrade at the sheriff's office and to hold a special election on renovating the jail, but not for actual construction.
Macomb, IL – The Macomb Women's Club wants to slow down drivers on the stretch of Route 67 between Pierce Street and University Drive. Right now the speed limit is 40 mph but the group wants that changed to 30 mph. It also wants a flashing warning light posted to alert drivers. The group's Marilyn Pastorelli says northbound drivers come over a hill as they approach University Drive. She says those unfamiliar with the city might be surprised to find a traffic light just a short distance ahead as they crest the hill.
Macomb, IL ` – A McDonough County Board Member wants a resolution asking for full school funding from the state. Joseph Kersting introduced the resolution at a committee meeting, where he asked Regional Education Superintendent Gary Eddington to outline the issues. Eddington says schools in the area do not have the assessed valuation to raise all the money needed for a good education. This places more stress on local property taxes, making them higher than necessary.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County's Human Resources and Planning Committee heard a listing of reasons to consider a comprehensive plan. Kathie Brown of the University of Illinois Extension told them planning will preserve farmland and open spaces for recreation. She says it also encourages business to come, becuse they know they will not become embroiled in a controversy. The full county board will hear an outline of planning at a question and answer session later this month.
Monmouth – Residents in nine western Illinois counties will be surveyed about their employment. Jolene Willis of the Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership says the questions will update information last gathered in 2002. She says the goal is to prove to prospective employers that there is a trained work force in the region, and that its members are willing to commute to a good job. She says the project should be completed by summer.