Macomb

Rich Egger

More information is now known about plans to replace the Wigwam Hollow Road bridge in Macomb.

A public hearing on the project was held during the City Council's September 4 meeting. Eric Moe of McClure Engineering said the bridge will be widened from 20 feet to 30 feet. A sidewalk will be added on the east side for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Moe said the bridge will be doubled in length to 200 feet. It will stretch from Jana Road to Woodland Lane. He said the new length will prevent floodwaters from topping the bridge.

Rich Egger

It could soon cost more if you violate certain ordinances in Macomb.

City staff researched the fines charged in other college towns in Illinois and drafted a proposal for aldermen to review.

“We're not trying to target anybody unless they target us,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter. “If they choose to do the right thing, everything will be fine.”

Aldermen will hold first reading of the changes on Tuesday, September 4.

For the most part, the fines will increase $50 if aldermen approve the changes.

Rich Egger

Aldermen are reviewing whether to alter the Facade Forgivable Loan Program based on recommendations from the City Council's Community Development Committee.

One proposal is to increase the city's share of the costs for facade improvements from 50% to 66%.

“That would mean if somebody had a $30,000 project, they could get $20,000 of that from us and $10,00 of their own money. If that's not incentive enough to put on their best face, I don't know what else we can do,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter.

Other recommendations include:

Rich Egger

The City of Macomb has taken steps to ensure the water continues to flow this summer despite the drought.

Mayor Mike Inman said water from one of the city's deep wells is being pumped into Spring Lake, which is the city's water source.

“The water manager started pumping from one of our deep wells the first week of July,” Inman said.

“We're pumping roughly 800 gallons a minute from that deep well into the lake, trying to maintain the water level there.”

The city has two deep wells. Both are at Spring Lake.

Baseball teams from Macomb and Colchester were scheduled to play a five-game series in mid-1921.

The series was tied 2-2 after four games with the deciding 5th game scheduled for September 11.

The game was played at the Macomb fairgrounds in front of more than 1,600 people.

The contest was about to begin when a car pulled up and three of the infamous Chicago Black Sox (Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ed Cicotte and Swede Risberg) got out and joined the Colchester team.

Rich Egger

Macomb is in talks with BNSF that could help the city expand. The plan is to annex the railroad's right-of-way westward to the future site of the Macomb bypass.

“Our primary goal is to take advantage of those folks willing to come in that are businesses -- commercial developments -- that bring sales tax revenue in to the city,” said Mayor Mike Inman.

He said the annexation might also increase the city's population base, though he feels that would be “icing on the cake.”

Inman said Macomb and BNSF have been in negotiations for the better part of a year.

Dudley Skate Park Project Delayed

Jul 26, 2012

The Dudley Street Skate Park will have to wait for concrete ramps and other structures from a California manufacturer.

Park District Director Ray Peterson says those structures are expected to arrive September 16.

He says, “Unfortunately, when you make that order you get in line. And when you're dealing with the number one supplier in the United States, a few days makes a difference on when you got in line, apparently.”

Peterson also says the district cannot invoke a penalty clause in the contract with the manufacturer since the delay is just a matter of production.

Hunziker Storage Building Gets Reprieve

Jul 23, 2012

A storage building owned by Chad Hunziker will be spared destruction. The Macomb City Council removed it from a list of buildings slated for demolition.

Alderman-at-large Don Wynn says Hunziker  has made a lot of improvements to the building.

He says, “I went out and looked at that building. And it's, from the outside of it, it's pretty secure. I mean, it's got a new roof on it  (It) does have some problems.”

Fifth-ward Alderman Dave Dorsett says the progress must continue.

NTN Bower Breaks Ground for New Plant

Jul 18, 2012

The turning of a few shovelfuls of dirt marked the beginning of construction of a new NTN Bower plant next to its existing facility in Macomb.

Craig Allen, production control general manager in Macomb, says the $100 million project will give the company greater capacity to produce existing products.

He says, “It will primarily be in the tapered roller bearing (product), which is where our big demand is right now. And it will allow us to significantly expand in that market area.”

Rich Egger

A property owner is trying to prevent one of his buildings from being demolished under Macomb's “Fix or Flatten” program for dilapidated structures.

Chad Hunziker, who is a landlord, said he is using the building at 121 South Albert Street as a warehouse to store appliances and other items. He told aldermen the building is not unsafe.

“We're trying to be proactive here and I think we try to work with the city well,” Hunziker said.

But Fourth Ward Alderman Thomas Koch said photos of the building show there are a number of loose bricks.

Due to the extreme heat we are experiencing around the area, a number of public cooling stations have been set-up. If you, or anyone you know, is in need of relief from the heat please check the list below to find the closest location in your area.

In Macomb, IL

Emphasis - June 15

Jun 15, 2012

Rich Egger's guests are author and historian John Hallwas and former Macomb Mayor Bob Anstine. They talk about the city's annual Heritage Days celebration, which takes place Thursday, June 21 - Sunday, June 24.

Heritage Days began during Anstine's administration. He thinks the first one was held in 1981.

“We were looking for an annual activity. We came up with this concept - the city city council, the Chamber of Commerce, and others - and that's when it started,” Anstine said.

Rich Egger

There are plenty of streets in need of repair in Macomb and the city council is now looking at options to pay for the work.

Aldermen this week discussed whether to issue bonds.  Sixth Ward Alderman Tim Lobdell said he's debated the idea for a while and now believes it's the city's best solution.

“I hope we see the long-term value in this. You're talking capital projects. They're going to be used in the future. Those people should be paying the interest debt on them in the future as well,” Lobdell said.

Rich Egger

The city council voted in favor of a resolution of support for seeking $1.1 million in federal grant funding for the West Adams Street revitalization project.

“This project is the gateway to Western Illinois University,” said Eric Moe of McClure Engineering. “It's often the first impression for newcomers to our community.”

Western Illinois University's new performing arts center should be ready for its scheduled opening in the fall of 2015.

Project Manager Ted Renner says the project should go out for contractor bids in late fall. Construction could begin in January.  Renner is confident the project will receive state funding to stay on schedule.

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