Keokuk City Council

Keokuk residents and businesses will pay more for sewer services as the city council has finalized a vote to increase the monthly rate effective August 1.

The commercial rate will increase by 3% while the residential rate will go up 5%.

Mayor Tom Marion says the commercial rate increase is smaller because Keokuk wants to remain competitive for businesses and industries.

The city says the minimum monthly charge for a residence will now be $24.25.

Keokuk could have a new police chief in place by the end of the week.

Mayor Tom Marion is recommending Administrative Captain Dave Hinton for the post.

Hinton has been with the Keokuk Police Department for more than 20 years.

Marion says Hinton stood out from the other five candidates, who are also members of the department.

Emphasis – June 29

Jun 29, 2012

Jason Parrott’s guest is Keokuk Police Chief Tom Crew.  They talk about Crew’s upcoming retirement and his 25 year career in law enforcement.

Crew describes his time with the Keokuk Police Department as a “great ride” filled with good friends and fond memories.

He says he is grateful that he found a career where it was never a burden to have to go in to work. 

Crew says that will make it more difficult, though, to walk out of his office for that final time.

Safety and liability concerns led the city of Keokuk to replace the original “Rocket Slide” in Kilbourne Park with a newer model several years ago. 

There were aspects of the original slide that no longer met federal standards.

Nels Olson of Wisconsin bought the Rocket Slide in the hopes of restoring it and installing the slide on his own property.

With that, people in Keokuk seemed to lose track of the slide, until it ended up on the reality television show, American Restoration.

It will soon cost a little more to own a cat or a dog in Keokuk as the city council has agreed to increase the cost of the annual license.

Owners currently pay $5/animal each year. 

The cost of the license will increase to $10 on July 1 if the animal is spayed or neutered. A three-year license would also be available for $25.

Mayor Tom Marion says the license would increase to $25 for one year and $65 for three years if the animal is unaltered.

The Keokuk City Council must decide how the city should pay for some highly-anticipated street work.

Keokuk replaced some sewer lines around Wells-Carey Elementary about two years ago.

The project required crews to tear up several streets to do the work.

Keokuk did not immediately replace them, though, because the sewer needed time to settle.  Gravel was added for the time being, but that has led to plenty of complaints from residents about dust.

Thursday night’s Keokuk City Council meeting had a feeling of Christmas as aldermen opened the boxes containing their new iPads.

The city spent more than $6,000 to purchase the devices for the nine city council members along with the Mayor, City Clerk, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Public Works Director, and Community Development Director.

The iPads are for the specific position or office-holder, not the individuals.  There is a device for the 3rd Ward Alderman, not for Ron Payne, for example.

Keokuk could get some financial help from some of its employees.

The city’s current contract with the firefighter’s union runs out June 30, 2013.  It is the only contract in place for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012.

Keokuk is currently in negotiations with the unions representing police officers, employees at the wastewater treatment plant, and the general union, which includes parks, streets and cemeteries.

The firefighters are offering to give up the 3% raise its members are in-line for come July 1.

Keokuk has started talking about developing its own multi-sport complex.

The discussions began with a request to upgrade Rees Park.  Mayor Tom Marion says the idea is to prepare the park for softball games or practices.

“We will put the fencing back up and we will disc the infield,” says Marion.  “We will also bring some clay sand and put it on the infield and fix the bleachers.”

The city council reached a consensus to proceed with the project, which could cost several thousand dollars.

Keokuk is ready to do something about the former Flowers by Daryl building at 707 Main Street.

Code Enforcement Officer Kathie Mahoney says a majority of the building’s exterior is in good shape, but she says the rear portion of the structure is basically gone.

The city has received one bid of just under $8,700 to repair the building.

Mayor Tom Marion says Keokuk does not want to see another vacant Main Street lot.

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