Fort Madison, IA – The director of the Great River Regional Waste Authority has been placed on administrative leave. The GRRWA commission voted to place Director Tim Yoder on a 60-day, paid administrative leave. His employment future will be determined during that time. The move is part of the commission's response to a recent state audit that found a number of questionable financial practices. Chairman Steve Ireland says the commission has also asked the state to continue its audit of the GRRWA's operations for FY 2005 and FY 2006.
Colchester, IL – If you like art and music, then you should have been in downtown Colchester on Saturday. The first Colchester Arts Festival was such a success that organizers are already talking about plans for next year. The works of 25 artists were displayed and a couple bands performed during the seven hour event. Hundreds and hundreds of people came to listen to the music, look at the art, and perhaps spend some money. The festival was put together by the Colchester Art Club, which was formed just a few months ago.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk city council may take a closer look at the pros and cons of bringing in a city manager. Keokuk operates under the most common form of city government in Iowa, an elected city council and an elected mayor. Unlike most larger cities, Keokuk's mayor serves full-time and the city does not employ a professional city manager or administrator. Alderman Mike O'Connor says it is time for the city council to, at least, explore the idea of hiring a professional administrator.
Macomb, IL – There's an ongoing effort to bring a regional arts center to Macomb. It's been several years since supporters got started, yet they still do not have a place for the center to call home. Nonetheless, the group's members are still working to raise money and draw attention to their cause. During Heritage Days the West Central Illinois Arts Center used a vacant storefront on the courthouse square as a temporary art gallery.
Fort Madison, IA – The Lee County Sheriff's Department's reserve officer unit is growing. The Board of Supervisors has approved the appointments of 2 new reserve officers. Sheriff Buck Jones says reserve officers can perform almost all of the duties of a certified officer. He says the unit, which will now include 11 officers, has been invaluable to the sheriff's department. Jones says the reserve officers are especially important during large events when extra security is needed.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen have finally approved a $3 million spending plan for the budget year that began in May. Mayor Ron Shepherd says it's within $100,000 of being balanced after the finance committee cut more than $700,000 from the last draft. He says they have eliminated new equipment purchases, trimmed utilities and cut wherever else possible. The plan does cover drilling of a new city well and some sewer construction.
Keokuk, IA – The public library in one Southeast Iowa city is losing state funding. The Keokuk Public Library has lost its state accreditation for the fiscal year that began July 1. Library Director, Emily Rohlfs, says losing this designation will impact the library. Rohlfs, who has been on the job for about 1 week, says the library lost its accreditation because the facility is no longer open on Saturdays. The library had to cut its hours of operation to make up for budget cuts in recent years. Rohlfs says the library can regain its accreditation if Saturday service is restored.