The Hancock County Economic Development Committee has formed three task forces composed of 25 volunteers each.
They are looking for ways to encourage future economic development in the county.
An initial meeting of selected three priorities; job creation, vocational training and entrepreneurship and encouraging residents to shop at local businesses. Each task force will hold an initial meeting in the next few weeks. They will then meet on a quarterly basis.
Macomb hasn't had the money to keep up with needed street work the past few years. Mayor Mike Inman said passage of a half-cent sales tax last year will allow an the city to complete several projects this construction season.
He said,“It'll come out of that, almost without exception, the half-cent sales tax. Folks that voted for that will get to se some of the fruits of their vote come to pass this summer.”
The city will budget $1.25 million for the fiscal year that starts May 1st.
Bushnell hoped to avoid spending the $650,000 for catalytic converters on the engines at its power plant. Mayor Steve Russell said the city keeps the plant as a back-up and doesn't run it regularly.
However, maintaining the power plant brings in $25,000 monthly payments.
Russell said the city buys electricity from a consortium, the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. The agency makes those payments for the city's generating capacity. One condition is that the power plant meets EPA regulations. New regulations require the installation.
Colchester residents might soon see a new charge on their sewer bills. It could be just the first of several.
The city council has given first reading to proposed ordinance to add the $4 monthly fee. The city needs the money because the Illinois EPA is requiring the city to update its sewer and water treatment systems.
Mayor Danny Bice said the city has little choice but to raise more money. The city is looking for financing from federal and state agencies.
Western Illinois University is known for Sherman Tower and its climbing tower. It might soon be known for a water tower. Talks between WIU and Macomb are ongoing.
Mayor Mike Inman said, “We're hoping to partner with the university on branding the water tower with the university's mascot and logo That, obviously, will be an agreement between us and them but their intention is to underwrite that.”
The project is part of routine maintenance to repaint the tower inside and out this year.