Keokuk, IA – Very few residents weighed in on the Lee County Board of Supervisors' latest attempt to gather feedback on county office consolidation. There are more than 35,000 people living in Lee County. 25,000 are registered voters. The supervisors received just over 200 responses to the public opinion poll they ran in several local newspapers. About 20% were photocopies of the original survey. Chairman George Morgan says the poll was another attempt to gauge public interest, since taxpayers pay for county government.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell will host an open house on Monday to show off its new municipal complex. The city purchased a lumberyard site earlier this year. Mayor Steve Russell says they wanted to move the police department to a more visible location with more space. The remodeled complex on Route 9 will be open Monday afternoon from 1 to 7:30 p.m. for tours and a utility board meeting. Then the council will meet there at 7:30. Russell says the city hall and utility offices will remain where they are now and most meetings will be held in the current city hall.
Fort Madison, IA – The Great River Regional Waste Authority is making some changes to the way it does business. The GRRWA Commission has approved several measures in response to a state audit that found improper and questionable spending. Chairman Steve Ireland says a competitive bid process has be instituted. Another policy limits the use of company cell phones to business-related calls, unless an emergency arises. Ireland says while the audit prompted the need to make changes, the goal is to improve operations at the authority.
Beardstown, IL – A Beardstown group is trying to find out more about the role Abraham Lincoln played when he practiced law in the town. Leigh Morris heads the city council's Old Courtroom and Museum Commission. He says the group is working to restore the second floor courtroom in the former Cass County Courthouse to the look it had when Lincoln practiced there. He says a researcher is also trying to find out more about Lincoln's interactions with townspeople.
Keokuk, IA – An industrial expansion in Keokuk, worth an estimated $70 million to $100 million, has cleared another hurdle. The Keokuk Board of Adjustment has awarded Roquette America the variance required to build its new boiler. This step is necessary because the project will exceed Keokuk's height requirement for buildings. Discussions focused on the industry's needes, the availability of new technology, and the potential impact from pollution.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County can now keep specific information regarding public safety confidential. This past spring, the state legislature gave counties and cities the authority to keep security procedures and emergency preparedness protocols private. The Board of Supervisors has adopted that policy. Chairman George Morgan says if certain procedures are made public, it could impact the safety of county residents. Some of the information that can now be kept confidential includes evacuation plans for county buildings, emergency response procedures, and architectural designs.
Macomb, IL – Macomb is about to take the next step in its process of determining whether a new public pool is needed. Aldermen next week will be asked to choose an engineering firm to study the issue. City Administrator Mike Hays believes it should take no more than 60 days for the firm to complete the report. He says the business will be charged with determining whether it's feasible to continue using Glenwood Pool or whether it's time to look at building a new facility. The city council's pool committee asked around five engineering firms to submit qualifications.