Colchester, IL – State Representative Rich Myers of Colchester wants a three-month suspension of the state sales tax on gasoline. He says the move would not cost much in tax revenue because the money that would have come in because of the gax tax would be spent on school supplies or clothing or other consumer goods. The governor's office has estimated the suspension from mid-August through mid-October would cost the state $100 million. Myers and other representatives have asked the governor to call a special session to consider the issue. The governor has not yet replied to the request.
Macomb, IL 61455 – The McDonough County Board delayed for a month taking action on problems with tax exemptions for some owner-occupied homes. The delay is to give the state's attorney time to check what the county can legally do. An overflow crowd at the board meeting heard from people who should have received the tax exemption for an owner-occupied home, but didn't. Several reasons were suggested for the errors, including incomplete preparation of forms by bankers or realtors and the misplacing of applications in the courthouse.
Fort Madison, IA – Southeast Iowa has a new industry, and hundreds of new jobs, on the way. Siemens Power Generation will build its first US-based wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison. Lee County Economic Development Director, Lowell Junkins, says the German company will renovate the old Wabash building along Highway 61. Junkins says the company will create over 250 new jobs with an average wage of $19/hour. He says 4 other industries are now interested in locating in Lee County, to be near Siemens.
Quincy, IL – A serious health problem has forced Quincy's former mayor to drop out of a legislative contest. Democrat Chuck Scholz announced just a few months ago that he would run for 93rd District State Representative. Republican Art Tenhouse retired after many years in office and Democrats believed Scholz's name recognition would help them win the seat. But Scholz now says he's been diagnosed with a rare liver disease, so he's dropping out of the election campaign and instead will embark on what he calls his most important campaign.
Macomb, IL – Amtrak has released the tentative schedule for its second Illinois Zephyr route through Macomb. Macomb Travel Center Manager John Vicetti says the second train will leave Chicago at 8:00 a.m. and arrive in Macomb shortly after 11:00. The return trip would leave Macomb at 5:18 p.m. and arrive in Chicago before 9:00 p.m. That schedule is expected to start by October 30 if the rolling stock can be shifted from other parts of Amtrak. Vicetti says the current Illinois Zephyr run between Quincy and Chicago is normally between 80% and 95% full.
Fort Madison, IA – Siemens Power Generation says its first wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in the US will be located near Fort Madison. Siemens will renovate the former Wabash National building on Highway 61. The 224,000 square foot building complex is located on 127 acres. The German company says the site's close proximity to water, rail, and road transportation and its central location in the United States make it ideal. Siemens says the plant is expected to employ around 250 people. The company believes production will begin during the first half of next year.
Macomb, IL – The Macomb Park District held three public meetings to gather input on its long-range development plan. Now, the district is preparing to make that plan a reality. The district will initially focus on its 80-acre University Drive property. The first step is to develop something more definitive from the conceptual drawings presented to the public. Executive Director Ray Peterson will contact local engineering firms to get input and general estimates on the cost. He will also look into the cost of getting utility services to the site.