Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison hopes to utilize volunteer firefighters in an attempt to improve its own fire department. The city council is working to develop a hybrid department that would consist of both full-time and part-time firefighters. Council member Chris Greenwald says the city will meet with volunteer firefighters from surrounding communities to gauge interest in working for Fort Madison, part-time. He says this would allow the city to add qualified firefighters while saving money on training and benefits.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk may add some temporary workers to several departments this summer. Mowing the hundreds of acres of grass on city property is a time-consuming task, especially as the number of city workers has been reduced in recent years. The city's Parks, Cemetary, and Bridget Subcommittee is looking for ways to maximize the time workers are on the job and minimize the time spent getting from park to park.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen are preparing an ordinance that could crack down on car stereos audible more than 50 feet away. Mayor Ron Shepherd says police have received several calls about excessive noise. He says some of the car owners have been warned, but turn the volume back up as they drive away. Shepherd says another city's ordinance that calls for towing and impoundment of the noisy car on a first offense has been found constitutional. He says aldermen are considering a $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine for the third.
Carthage, IL – Carthage expects to be almost done with the high costs of closing its landfill. Mayor Jim Nightingale says the city expects to spend at least $160,000 this year to finish closing procedures. He says that gives a projected end-of-year general fund balance of $80,000. He says usually aldermen try for $200,000 or more. Nightingale says this year's spending plan included no major purchases except for one police car. In future years, he expects landfill expense to drop to between $30,000 and $40,000 per year.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk will help fund a pair of local initiatives aimed at improving the city. The city council voted to pay $100,000 toward a revolving loan fund for commercial and retail businesses. The money, which came from the sale of part of the old Joyce Park, would be used as the local match for a potential grant from the USDA. Alderman Bill Olmsted says the city council did not want to use these dollars for day-to-day services or salaries. The council also formally agreed to pay $7,250 toward the Vision-Keokuk long-range planning effort.
Warsaw, IL – The new Warsaw Public Library is open for business. The facility has several public computers, rows of large bookshelves, a seperate reading area for children, and a large community meeting room. Library Board President, Eileen Shoup, expects more people to take advantage of the new library. The facility is also more accessible because there are no steps to climb with everything located on one floor. The library's rare book room, which will house several Civil War era books and newspapers, must still be completed.