Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry school board gave final approval to placing all of the district's fifth and sixth graders in the Industry elementary building. Superintendent Matt Plater says the facilities, including a gym and a separate cafeteria, are already in place. He says the move will also free up space in the crowded Rushville buildings. He says the move will involve about 170 students. Plater says the shift is a temporary solution. The board will re-evaluate it next year as it moves to cope with an expected increase in the district's population.
Rushville, IL – The State of Illinois is moving ahead with its new plan for the prison built in Rushville. The prison will be converted into a treatment and detention facility for Sexually Violent Persons (SVP) who've served their prison time but are too dangerous to be released. The facility will be operated by the Department of Human Services and will house more than 250 SVP. It will employ 228 state workers. 184 will be security staff. State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says there will also be around 50 professional treatment staff.
Keokuk, IA – Lee County's budget for next year currently shows a drop in the property tax rate. The Board of Supervisors has approved the county's preliminary spending plan. The Urban Property Tax Rate is projected to drop by more than 7%, while the Rural Rate is expected to be cut by about 4%. Chairman George Morgan says the board had to cut taxes in next year's budget, after a more than 30% increase in both rates in the current budget. The Conservation Department will lost 2 employees in next year's spending plan.
Bushnell, IL – Mosaic has a state grant to construct two four-plex group homes in Bushnell. Associate Director Kassie Courson says the Illinois Housing Development Authority has provided $950,000 to construct the two facilities. Courson says they should be completed in about one year. She says there's already a waiting list for developmentally disabled residents who would like to live there. Courson says each home will have four double-occupancy bedrooms and a single communal room with kitchen and living room facilities. Courson expects the homes to be open in about one year.
Pittsfifeld, IL – An Opportunity Returns grant will be used to showcase the diversity possible in western Illinois agriculture. Two Rivers Resosurce Conservation and Development will use the funds to put on four different programs. Martha Shepherd says her staff is planning a forestry workshop, a vinyard tour and seminar and expansion for Quincy's Locally Grown Food festival that's held in connection with an August Farmers Market. She says there will also be a seminar on agritourism, which can include leasing land to hunters.
Macomb, IL – How quickly McDonough County can update its aerial photography might depend on the Warren County budget. McDonough County Board vice chairman Glen Foster says he's trying to work with Warren County to "piggy-back" on some photography planned there. Foster says this would lower the cost of McDonough County's work to $20,000 from $100,000. However, he says the Warren County Board has not yet been able to allocate the funds for its project. Foster says if Warren County cannot have the flights made this spring, it will be next year before McDonough County can get its update.
Macomb, IL – A community survey tried to gauge the feelings of Macomb residents on a host of issues. Among other things, it contains good news for supporters of the half-cent sales tax. The poll found a majority of residents are aware of the tax and they support having the money used for infrastructure improvements. In addition, most likely voters will support extending the tax, which is set to expire within the next couple years. Mayor Mick Wisslead expects a renewal referendum to be placed on the November ballot.