Macomb, IL – As the City of Macomb gets ready to work on its next budget, it's planning to deal with an increase of up to 60% in its utility bills. Electric rates will spike because a 10-year freeze on them has expired and state lawmakers have failed to take action to prevent increases. Mayor Mick Wisslead says the city might need to look at generating more revenue, perhaps through an increase in water and sewer rates. He says the city anticipated some of the hike in electric rates when crafting the current budget.
Macomb, IL – Two people are charged with robbing the HyVee gas station in Macomb. Police say they were able to positively identify 24-year old Darrell Miller of Matteson from the video taken by a surveillance camera at the business. He was arrested Monday, as was 34-year old Sherry Lynn Shern of Macomb. Both were living across the street from the gas station. They're each charged with armed robbery, armed violence, and aggravated battery. Police say they do not know how much money was taken during the robbery, which happened Friday night.
Carthage, IL – The Carthage City Council will share more information with the public on its proposed Tax Increment Financing District at a meeting Wednesday afternoon. Community Developer Brenda Pyatt says the session will give people a chance to ask questions about the program. it will also help the council determine if any property owners want to opt out. She says the district will include the new development area on the east side of town, along with land near the college, in the downtown district and property on the west side of town near Methode and the new water.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County Board members are beginning to discuss seriously whether the county should have a full-time administrator. Some board members have suggested that a full-time executive could save the county from some of the problems that it has had. They say the position could make county government more efficient. However, Finance Committee chairwoman Alice Henry said in other counties, managers have been hired with unrealistic expectations, such as smoothing over differences between the board and the elected officers.
Keokuk, IA – One Lee County lawmaker says the 2007 legislative session could be very productive. Lawmakers traveled to Des Moines, today, to begin the 1st spring session of the 82nd Iowa General Assembly. For the first time in decades, Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the Governor's Office. Representative Phil Wise says that fact should prove to be a benefit for Lee County. The Keokuk Democrat says the county has been making progress in turning its economy around and he believes Lee County will take the next step forward during this session.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk school board could vote, later this month, on whether to close one of the district's elementary schools. The district's facilities committee says closing Lincoln Elementary would result in a savings of $87,000. Superintendent Jane Babcock says declining enrollment numbers have prompted the district to look at closing the school, located on Keokuk's southwest side. The school board could also vote, in two weeks, to create a pair of committees to look into the building of a new school to replace 3 of the district's 5 elementaries.
Rushville, IL – Rushville's mayor wants aldermen to trade debts between the city ... and the Scripps Park Board. Ron Shepherd says the city borrowed from park board accounts a couple of years ago to meet retirement costs. Then the park board borrowed rom the city to expand its golf course to 18 holes. Shepherd says the park board still owes the city about $16,000. He says making the trade on the books would help the park board by removing an outstanding obligation.