Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen have passed an ordinance to ban on-street parking of recreational vehicles for more than 24-hours. Mayor Ron Shepherd says some of the "snowbirds" park their trailers or r-vs out in the right of way. He says they're blocking the streets at times. He also says he knows of no other town in the region that allows such vehicles to be stored on the street. The ordinance has been passed by the council three times and needs only the mayor's signature at a council meeting to become effective.
Keokuk, IA – Lock 19 on the Mississippi River at Keokuk is a busy place - and it's expected to get busier. The US Army Corps of Engineers says more than 24 million tons of commodities flowed through the lock in 2004. The Corps estimates that will increase to more than 31.5 million tons by the end of the decade. As a result, improvements are being made to the lock, which is nearly 50 years old. One of the biggest changes is the installation of two new miter gates. The gates are more than 55 feet high and each weighs around 220 tons.
Keokuk, IA – Voters in Southeast Iowa will only have to make a few choices at the polls during the upcoming primary. The deadline has passed for filing the paperwork needed to be on the June 6 ballot for county or state office. In Lee County, the lone contested race is for the democratic nomination for treasurer. Incumbant Mary Koehler, who replaced longtime treasurer Mary Hoenig, several months ago, is being challenged by Janet Strunk and Jeanne Cooper. The field is rather sparce in Des Moines County as well.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk may seek some clarification as to the authority of the Lee County Board of Supervisors in creating one county seat. The city council could vote, next week, on whether to seek a legal opinion from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. Alderman Bill Olmsted says the opinion is necessary because of the possible impact on Keokuk if county services are combined and moved out of the city. The Lee County Board of Supervisors believes it has the authority to create one county seat by simply approving a resolution.
Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton, Nauvoo-Colusa, and Warsaw school districts agreed, several months ago, to conduct a feasibility study. The document compares and organizes information provided by each district, such as finances and enrollment. It also outlines reorganization options and state financial incentives. A public presentation was recently held in the Hamilton gymnasium. More than 200 people turned out to see and hear the results. The districts have 3 reorganization options: consolidation, convergence, or deactivation.
Rushville, IL – The Rushville-Industry High School will get a new heating system and air conditioning over the summer. Superintendent Matt Plater says the current system was installed in 1959 when the building was constructed and it's beginning to give problems. He says the agreement with Honeywell Corporation guarantees energy cost savings of $22,000 per year or more. The new system will cost $144,000 yearly for 20 years. Plater says the system should be installed over the summer and be ready by fall, though final balancing of the heating controls could take until October.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School District's budget for next year contains a significant consolidation of classrooms. The school board is working to certify the spending plan and set the property tax levy for next year. Early numbers show spending will increase by about $1,000,000, compared to the current budget. Much of that total comes from employee salaries and benefits, energy costs, and hiring a school psychologist and several high school teachers. Superintendent Jane Babcock says the district will only receive about $450,000 in new state money, which means cuts are needed.