Keokuk, IA – Lee County is ready to take Fort Madison to court over the city's decision to stop waste management fee payments to the Great River Regional Waste Authority. The Board of Supervisors has authorized County Attorney Mike Short to file a civil lawsuit against the city if the monthly payments do not resume before September 6. The Fort Madison City Council voted, last month, to stop the payments until the authority changed its operations. Short says the city needs to resume its payments, of nearly $17,000/month, because changes have taken place.
Nauvoo, IL – Nauvoo tourism is shifting to a regional draw, instead of the national draw during construction of the LDS temple. Chamber of Commerce Director David Miller says he's seeing more repeat customers from the Midwest. Tourism Director Rustin Lippincott says Hancock Couny was first in Illinois on a listing of counties showing an increase in tax revenue from food, fuel sales, lodging and other tourism-based spending. He says the county had more than $22 million in tourism spending during 2005. He says that brought in about $820,000 in tax revenue to the county and its towns.
Keokuk, IA – Another Southeast Iowa city is trying to establish a transportation enterprise zone. The Iowa Department of Economic Development has approved Fort Madison's request to create the economic development tool. Now, Keokuk is starting the process of applying. Mayor Dave Gudgel says new or exisiting businesses, located within a transportation enterprise zone, would be eligible for tax credits and abatements for up to 10 years.
Carthage, IL – The Carthage Library Board is investigating how it might transfer its former building back to the city. Aldermen have offered $2,500 for the brick building on the square. They want to return it to use as a city building with room for the town's police station. Library Director Susan Hunt says the state law on transferring a building indicates that it should be advertised and sold to the highest bidder. She says the board chairman is checking with specialists in library law. The library moved earlier this year to the former Marine Bank building further west on the Square.
Macomb, IL – The weather radar unit in Macomb might need replacement soon, even though it's freshly repaired and updated. County Board ESDA Committee Chairman Tony Coniglio says repair parts for the unit are no longer available. He says the unit is essential for local storm spotting because it shows detail not available from national weather services. He says we are also near edges of coverage by the radar units in the Quad Cities and Saint Louis. The recent repairs cost about $41,000. He says a replacement unit would cost more than $140,000. The radar is considered an ESDA unit.
Donnellson, IA – Congressman Jim Leach says more help is needed in the effort to achieve peace in the Middle East. The Iowa Republican says the State Department has too much work to do to place the proper attention on truly resolving the conflict between Isreal, Lebanon, and Hezbollah. The congressman says a special, full-time, negotiator should be brought in to focus only on that one issue. Leach says he has approached the White House about the idea, but it has not moved forward. He believes that once true, agreed-upon, borders are established, some of the chaos will subside.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk will receive $99,000 from the federal government to develop a small business revolving loan fund. The city found out, during last night's meeting, that the USDA approved the funding. The council has already pledged $100,000 toward the program. Mayor Dave Gudgel says a revolving loan fund will help expand business growth. Upon final confirmation, Gudgel says a committee will be formed to manage the program. Several council members have expressed interest in the creation of a revolving loan fund for residential neighborhooods.
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.