Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry school district will schedule a Truth in Taxation hearing before its meeting next month. The board approved a levy with a 15-cent increase in the education fund. That brings that levy to almost a $1.7 million dollar request with a tax rate of $2.15 per $100 in valuation. Superintendent Matt Plater says there has been some appreciation in property values in the Schuyler County portion of the district. He says the board has been spending from reserves accumulated when the districts merged, but the board wants to slow the dimunition of those reserves.
Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison has once again approved a financial incentive for Siemens Power Generation, after several modifications. The initial plan extended a tax increment financing district to include Siemens' new plant and a pair of properties located just outside city limits. The county raised some concerns over the city having taxing authority over the two parcels of county land. Fort Madison P & Z director, Ed Basch, says the revised plan, recently adopted by the city council, addresses the concerns surrounding the two properties.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell has sold its old police station, but the new owner will continue to share the space with the town's police radio equipment. Mayor Steve Russell says the city will save a lot of money by not having to move the tower and the radio gear to the new city quarters in a former lumberyard along the highway. He says the sale was made with the understanding that city crews would have maintenance access. He says the city received four bids for the old downtown police station. The winning bid was for about $15,000.
Keokuk, IA – After heavy turnout in 1 precinct, Lee County could be changing that precinct's polling location. The Board of Supervisors created several super-precincts, last year, to try to save money by reducing the need for new voting machines. One such precinct was formed by combining the Washington, Denmark, and Green Bay townships, with the Great River Regional Waste Authority serving as the polling site. During the recent election, this new super-precinct led the way in ballots cast by roughly 200.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen will split the cost of a new city well between two budget years. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the city had budgeted $165,000 for the new water well in the Illinois River bottomland. However, including construction and electrical service, the cost will be more than $300,000. Shepherd says construction will begin this winter, but the additional cost will be paid in the fiscal year beginning next May 1.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk's counter-offers to 2 unions do not include the pay hikes employees were seeking. The General Union, which includes employees from the bridge, parks, and streets departments, is seeking a 2-year deal with pay hikes of 6.5% and 6.0%. Employees at the Water Pollution Control Plant want a 3-year deal with an annual 6% across the board hike. The city has countered with a pair of 3-year contract proposals. Each deal calls for an annual 1.5% pay hike.
Keokuk, IA – Combining Lee County's 2 drivers license facilities could save the county some money. A state audit, released in January, shows that it costs Lee County more than $10 to issue a license, while being reimbursed for $7 by the state. THe county is exploring ways to make the service break even. Board Chairman George Morgan says at this point, the discussions do not call for the elimination of the program. Lee County's 2 facilities are each open 20 hours a week and staffed by 2 employees.