Illinois

Portfolio
12:32 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Policy Will Benefit City Coffers

Interest rates of under one percent convinced Monmouth's city council to adopt a formal investment policy.

City Administrator Eric Hanson said the did not have a formal investment policy and put all its money into CDs.

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Cameras
1:42 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

County Will Upgrade Courthouse Security

The McDonough County courthouse will take the first step toward becoming a “secure courthouse.” Sheriff Rick VanBrooker said the county is a bit behind the times when it comes to security. He said a new video monitoring system will close the gap.

The county is advertising for bids. VanBrooker would like to have a battery of 18 cameras to monitor entrances, hallways, stairwells and the courtrooms.

Cost is a consideration but not the only one.

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More info
3:44 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Hog Farm Permit will be Delayed

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is holding up a proposed large-scale hog farm in northeast Hancock County.

Junction Acres would be home to up to 18,000 pigs a year. It would be built near LaCrosse.

The deadline for the permit was March 3rd. The department instead requested the construction plans and the animal waste-handling plan.

Walter Goetsch is the Ag Department's Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs. He said the information is often not part of the original notice of intent to construct.

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Resolution
9:23 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Warsaw is Still Waiting for FEMA Money from 2008

The Mississippi River flood of 2008 heavily damaged the water treatment plant in Warsaw.  At the time, FEMA told the city it would cover the the entire cost of getting the plant back online.

Hancock County Board Chairman David Walker said FEMA did not fulfill the promise.  Instead, it paid 75% of the cost.  That left the city to come up with $265,000 to get the plant running again.

Walker said that was a hardship.

He said, “They had to take it out of their own funds.  Every city, every county, every municipality is hurting on the amount of money that they have.”

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complaints
12:37 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Employees Air Insurance Concerns

Bushnell switched health insurance plans last year to lower costs. Instead, it raised the hackles of employees.

The two sides this week. Fifteen employees submitted their complaints and questions in writing.

Their biggest complaint was the deductible. It increased $400 from the old plan to $1,900.

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Gallery Space
2:46 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

New Art Studio Will Create Opportunities Downtown

Monmouth wants to spur economic development in the downtown. Public meetings have shown residents would like to see a vigorous arts community develop downtown.

Community Development Director Paul Schuytema said the city will rehabilitate a building downtown into an art studio and gallery. The new project will create foot traffic and new business opportunities. He said the original plan was to offer artists studio and gallery space and apartments. A study showed that was not economically feasible.

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Leaks
2:51 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Carthage's Patience Pays Off

The roof at Carthage City Hall began leaking last year. Water ran into the building and around several windows on the upper floor.

Mayor Jim Nightingale contacted the contractor, Five Star Commercial Roofing of Indiana, to get the repairs under warranty.

The contractor promised to send someone to look at the situation last November. No one came.

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Algae in water
1:50 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Colchester Cited for Water Quality Violations

Mayor Danny Bice

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has cited Colchester for 28 violations of water quality regulations.  The violations occurred from January through August of last year. The EPA gave the city 90 days to comply.

The city has been working to solve its water woes. It has completed one phase of the project.. The next two phases will take up to 2 1/2 years and cost up to $4 million.

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Fees
12:36 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Board and Agency Disagree on Recycling Cost

Hancock County

The Hancock County Board and the Western Illinois Regional Council have come up with different numbers for the cost of recycling collection in the county.

The board found a bill for $4,000 a surprise. It budgeted $3,500 for the service.

The board briefly considered just paying the money it budgeted. Ultimately, the board tabled the bill until the finance committee has a chance to contact the WIRC.

Chairman David Walker thought the bill might have gone up.

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Costs up
9:21 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Carthage Fire Fees Might Go Up

Carthage City Hall

Carthage might have to raise what it charges for fire calls outside the city limits.

Fire Chief Gary Smith said the department doesn't cover a fire district. It is a city department that provides a service within a designated area. Since people in the area don't pay a tax for fire protection, they get a bill when the fire department responds to a call.

He said, ”With the rising fuel costs, diesel costs a lot. Equipment costs a lot. We take around a half-million dollars worth of equipment and between that and the fuel cost we can spend more than we bring in.”

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