Macomb, IL – A ten-year veteran of the Macomb Fire Department is now the chief. The city council this week approved the mayor's appointment of Andy Taylor. He'll be paid $58,943.45. Taylor served as interim chief after Clarence John retired this year. Before that, he was captain of operations. Taylor says firefighting has changed a great deal during the past decade, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He says the standards and expectations for hazardous materials crews and technical rescue teams have grown by leaps and bounds.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County residents who did not receive the owner-occupied tax exemption on the home they live in might have a second chance. More than 40 people who believed they should have received the exemption showed up at a county board committee meeting to complain. Up to 150 homeowners might not have received the exemption for taxes payable this summer. Board Chairman Bob Harwick says it's only fair that they be given a chance to file for it. That could result in lowering the assessed value of their homes by up to $5,000.
Macomb, IL – Macomb residents will vote in contests for county, state, and federal offices this fall. Now, they will also be asked to decide a city referendum. The question seeks voter approval to make the half-cent local option sales tax permanent. It's currently due to expire at the end of 2008. The money it generates pays for street repairs and other infrastructure work. First Ward Alderman Charles Gilbert initially argued for increasing the tax to three-quarters of a cent, but other aldermen countered that the city should take things one step at a time.
Hamilton, IL – Hamilton is still a few days away from having its new water plant up and running. Water Superintendent, Tim Schilson, says the final tests on the 1,000,000 per day facility are nearly complete. He says two remaining components, a filter and a water pump, have passed one test and the results are pending on the second test. Schilson expects to have the final results later this morning. He says, if the pump and filter pass, the plant could come online by the end of the week.
Augusta, IL – The Southeastern District school board will decide next week whether to begin the school year Aug. 23 as planned. Superintendent Mike Owen says the district still needs to determine whether the part of the building that remained after the fire will be usable in time. He says the section with the cafeteria, ag shop and gymnasium shared walls with the part of the building that was demolished after the March 3 fire. An inspection by the Regional Superintendent of Education is scheduled next week.
Keokuk, IA – The deadline has passed to fill out the paperwork necessary to run for school board in Iowa. There will be just one contested race in Lee County. That race will be within the Keokuk School District. 3 seats on the board are open and 4 people, including 2 incumbants, have filed to be on the ballot.
President Julia Logan Board Member Tyler McGhghy Former Principal Tom Wemette Fire Chief Mark Wessel.
Current board member, Brian Richardson, will not seek another 3 year term.