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.

A Keokuk landmark opened its doors to the public over the weekend after being off-limits for more than a decade.

Plant Superintendent Larry Weiman says daily tours of Ameren Missouri’s power plant on the Mississippi River were provided for years.

That is until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011, when public access was denied.

That restriction was lifted for Saturday and Sunday.

The idea was to increase interest in the facility in anticipation of next summer’s 100th anniversary of the completion of the power plant and the Keokuk dam.

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.

The Keokuk School Board could soon see a list of potential superintendent candidates.

Business Manager Greg Reynolds says applications will be accepted through July 9.  He says Ray & Associates (Cedar Rapids, IA) will review the applicants in the hopes of presenting a final list to the board by July 23rd.

“They are then going to interview (candidates) the following week,” says Reynolds.  “I believe the 30th and 31st (of July) is the plan.”

Keokuk hopes to have a new superintendent in place before the start of the school year.

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 residents have several opportunities to weigh in on the search for a new school superintendent.

The school board has hired Ray & Associates to help the district find a replacement for Doctor Lora Wolff.  She is stepping down to take a teaching position at WIU.

The Cedar Rapids-based firm will hold two public input sessions at the middle school on Tuesday.  The first will get underway at 12:00 P.M. while the second is scheduled for 5:30 P.M.

Those who cannot attend can provide input through a survey on the district’s website.

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 Police Chief Tom Crew used Thursday night’s city council meeting to announce his retirement.  His final day on the job will be June 28, but he will officially leave the payroll on July 6.

Crew has been with the Keokuk Police Department for 25 years.  He worked his way through the ranks, serving as patrol officer, captain and assistant chief along the way.

Crew has led the department for the last seven years. 

His time in local law enforcement also included a stint as commander of the Lee County Narcotics Task Force.

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.

The Keokuk Board of Adjustment has signed off on a couple of small changes to the design plans for several garages that will be built behind the former Eagles building.

The property is being re-developed for commercial and residential use.  There will be four high-end, upper-story apartments, which require the construction of the garages.

Time is of the essence when it comes to a multi-million dollar project at the Keokuk Municipal Airport.

The city council has awarded the contract for resurfacing the airport’s 5500 ft. runway to Shipley Contracting out of Burlington.

The company’s bid of just under $3.8 million came in roughly $1-million below original estimates.  The city received three bids but did not consider one of them.