Oquawka – A retiree who returned home to Oquawka is trying to recruit volunteers to restore some of the buildings around town. Stan Banta grew up in Oquawka and as a youth went to Boy Scout meetings in what's now the abandoned 1901 fire station. Banta says he's asking the village board for permission to refurbish the older buildings as a way of helping the town. The board has not yet decided to offer financial support for the project. Banta will seek donations of materials as well. He estimates about half of the value of the work will be donated labor, the other half will be materials.
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.