Macomb, IL – It will soon cost more to earn a degree at Western Illinois University. The Board of Trustees on Friday approved a 9.5% tuition increase. The change is for new students only and begins this summer. The board also hiked room and board by 4.93% and fee rates by 2.87%. Those increases also impact new students only. However, Board Chairman Michael Houston says it's important to remember that costs will not rise for those students during the next four years because of the school's Cost Guarantee program.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell aldermen have allowed an internet service provider to use the top of the city water tower for its antennas. Mayor Steve Russell says the antenna array from DerbyTech is part of the wireless broadband system Carl Sandburg College is installing. He says the system will first link the college and its branch campuses, along with elementary schools in the CSC district. Later, Russell says excess broadband capacity will be sold to Bushnell residents .
West Burlington, IA – Southeastern Community College's budget for next year contains a very slight property tax rate hike. The Board of Trustees has adopted SCC's budget for the fiscal year starting in July. Vice President Dick Springsteen says the budget includes a property tax hike of just under $0.01/$1,000 of assessed property value. He says the state's property tax formula means homeowners will not be impacted by the increase. Springsteen says property tax dollars account for a small percentage of the overall budget for SCC.
Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison's property tax rate will go up next year. The Fort Madison City Council has approved the city's spending plan for the fiscal year that begins in July. The city's property tax rate will go up 19 cent, compared to the current budget. A change in the state's property tax formula will likely result in lower tax bills, though, for most homeowners. The budget does not include any lay-offs or service cuts, even though the issues were discussed throughout the process. The city council used fee increases and large fund transfers to balance the spending plan.
Rushville, IL – Operators outlined plans for a 15,000 pig hog farrowing operation at a Department of Agriculture meeting in Rushville. Hilltop Farms would construct the facility just under five miles east of Littleton. Neighbors outlined concerns including pollution, dangers to public health and problems with traffic around the site. They also expressed concern that the Environmental Protection Agency would not be able to monitor it effectively. The Schuyler County Board has until mid-April to either recommend for or against the facility.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School District will again take a detailed look at its facilities. The school board wants to form another facilities committee, similar to a panel created in 2001. Business Manager Greg Reynolds says the committee would consist of community, education, business, and government leaders from throughout the city. Some of the short term goals, presented by the previous committee, included building a new alternative school and selling the old middle school lot on Main Street.