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.
Keokuk, IA – A soon-to-be completed biodiesel plant in Southeast Iowa is already expanding into other markets. Sales Manager, Al Moander says Tri-City Energy's biodiesel manufacturing plant is now being installed in its downtown Keokuk facility. Before fuel production begins, next month, Moander says the company will team with Ames-based Techno-Chem and Des Moines Based Insta-Pro International to form TC Energy. TC Energy will build biodiesel manufacturing plants that are similar to the 5,000,000 gallon plant in Keokuk. Moander says the equipment will be assembled in Keokuk.
Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison is not ready to resume payments to the Great River Regional Waste Authority. The city's monthly waste management fee payment, $17,000, has been withheld since last month. The city council stopped the payments after a state audit revealed improper or questionable spending by the authority. Council member Brad Randolph says more changes to operations, at the landfill, are needed before the payments could resume. He says it starts with firing director Tim Yoder, who remains on paid leave, and appointing a new waste authority commission.
Canton, IL – Illinois has released more than $6 million in Opportunity Returns grant money to help build a Canton, Illinois ethanol plant. Manager Mike Smith says the grant is part of more than $13 million in state funding for the $100 million plant. Construction began this year. The plant is expected to be producing ethanol by next May, with construction complete a few months later. The Central Illinois Energy plant will employ abouat 45 people, use more than 13 million bushels of corn and produce about 37 million gallons of ethanol each year.