WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg

Rich Egger

Galesburg aldermen voted 7-0 with one abstention to rezone land at North Seminary Street and Highway 34 to allow for construction of a hotel, some retail space, and owner-occupied duplexes. However, developer Todd Raufeisen must still clear some hurdles before construction can begin.

Mayor Sal Garza pointed out the rezoning of the land is the only thing that was approved.

“At this stage, we weren’t doing the specific review of all the facilities, the locations of them and all of that,” Garza said.

Rich Egger

Aldermen have a couple weeks to decide whether to allow a proposed hotel development to proceed on North Seminary Street at Highway 34.

Mayor Sal Garza said there is a great deal for aldermen to consider. He said development of the four-story hotel would create jobs, generate revenue for local governments, and it could spur further economic development in that part of town.

Rich Egger

A developer wants to rezone some land on North Seminary Street in Galesburg. The plan is generating enough interest that the city has scheduled a public meeting to talk about it.

The meeting is scheduled for September 11, 5:00 pm, in the Costa Catholic Academy Auditorium. Raufeisen Development will give a presentation on its plan before the floor is opened for a question-and-answer period.

The plan is to change the land from Single Family zoning to a mix of Two Family and General Business District.

Rich Egger

There is no dog park in Galesburg -- but a group of volunteers hopes to change that.

Project Dog Park's Obi Oki said dogs love to run but there is no place for unleashed pets to do so right now.

“I just think it would be wonderful if they could get out and run and do what they do naturally in a protected area,” Oki said.

Rich Egger

The recently approved marijuana ordinance in Galesburg has gone up in smoke.

The law would have allowed police to issue a ticket to those caught possessing up to 2.5 grams of pot. Offenders could pay a fine instead of going to court.

But Mayor Sal Garza will veto the measure and is recommending changes he feels will improve it.

The mayor wants to start an education program for those under age 18 who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. He also wants to increase the fine to cover the cost of implementing the program.

Galesburg Bridge Project Moves Forward

Jul 27, 2012

Galesburg has acquired land adjacent to the current Soangetaha overpass. The move will allow the current bridge to remain open while its replacement is built.

The BNSF railroad owns the current bridge on East Main Street. It's between Galesburg and East Galesburg.

Mayor Sal Garza says it is at the end of its service. life.

He says, “That has gotten to a state where it's just limited in terms of the capacity of weight that is safe."

Area Cooling Centers for the Public

Jul 5, 2012

Due to the extreme heat we are experiencing around the area, a number of public cooling stations have been set-up. If you, or anyone you know, is in need of relief from the heat please check the list below to find the closest location in your area.

In Macomb, IL

Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza is forming a 14-member task force to develop funding options for the city's pension funds.

“If it goes unchecked and unaddressed, we may find ourselves in the same kind of condition that the state of Illinois' overall pension system is in,” Garza said.

City leaders said the funding ratio has dropped over the past decade for the three pension funds in which the city participates. Garza said Galesburg will need to dip into its general revenues to pay pension obligations if something is not done.

Photo from The Zephyr

Galesburg city council members approved a resolution in support of naming facilities, parks and streets in honor of notable women.

More than 50 women are listed in a document provided to aldermen. They are community organizers, athletes, artists, educators, and more from throughout Galesburg's 175 year history.

The document will be used when the city considers naming and renaming things.

Mayor Sal Garza said too few women have been recognized by the city.

In The Tri States

Mar 2, 2012

A look back at the top stories and features from the Tri States Public Radio news department from February 2012. 

During the month, Caterpillar ruled out Galesburg or any other site in Illinois for a plant being relocated from Japan. The company eventually chose to build in Georgia.

Monmouth hired a new police chief, a northeast Missouri man was convicted of murder, and the Macomb School District cut ties with a former teacher accused of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. 

The kitchen table can be considered the meeting place of the family. A group in Galesburg want to expand on that idea and make the kitchen table the meeting place of the community.

The Knox Prairie Community Kitchen (KPCK) formed last year. Organizers felt there was a need to provide meals in Galesburg and to build a greater sense of community.

Cook Laura Lytle said the food need was evident one night when she noticed a KPCK diner trying to stretch his meal by setting aside a portion for another time.

Photo from the City of Galesburg's website

Caterpillar has ruled Illinois  out of plans  to relocate a factory and 1,400 jobs from  Japan.

The  Peoria-based  heavy-equipment maker cited both logistical  problems  and ongoing concerns about the state's business climate.

Caterpillar laid out its decision in an e-mail to leaders in Galesburg and in Peoria County.   Those were among fewer than a dozen Illinois locations trying  to win the new plant.

The Galesburg City Council needed a tie-breaking vote from Mayor Sal Garza to complete the sale of two lots on West First St.

Aldermen deadlocked over whether to sell the adjacent properties at 569 and 593 West First to the neighbors - Edgreal and Oletha Wallace of 597 West First -  or to St Mary's Square Living Center.

The Wallaces bid $200 for the first lot and $1,000 for the second.  St Mary's bid $325 for each with the bid contingent upon receiving both parcels.

Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said the city is developing a strategy to avoid the same pension system headaches plaguing the state.

Illinois has billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. While Galesburg's obligations are nowhere near those amounts, Garza is concerned that the police and fire pension systems are receiving less than 60% of what they should be getting from the city.

The city's IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) is at 90%, and Garza would like to bring the police and fire systems up to that level.

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