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.
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.
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.
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.”