Macomb

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.

Rich Egger

The city plans to lay out 100 new camp sites to the south and west of the existing campgrounds at Spring Lake Park.

City Administrator Dean Torreson told aldermen the development can be done in stages.

“Maybe 20 at a time or something like that, 25 at a time as we can afford it and as the market can absorb it,” Torreson said.

A city memo said once the project is completed, the city will rework some existing sites. That project will include installation of new utility lines.

Rich Egger

Macomb aldermen have been asked for several years to take action to improve the safety of the Grant Street and Maple Avenue intersection. They now appear ready to do so.

They will decide at their June 4, 2012 meeting whether the city should buy solar powered pedestrian crossing lights for that intersection and for West Adams Street, just east of Wigwam Hollow Road.

Macomb city council members want more information about a proposal to refund money to those who live outside the city limits who paid for a hook-up to the city's water service.

Macomb estimates it charged an average of $3,000 to the 18 people in question. Aldermen appear willing to lower the fee from this point forward but they're not sold on the idea of giving refunds.

Schock Says Provision Prevents Medicaid Reform

May 14, 2012

Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) says a provision of the Affordable Care Act prevents Illinois from enacting serious Medicaid reform. That provision prevents states from reducing benefits or tightening requirements to qualify for Medicaid.

The House has passed a measure to repeal that provision.

Schock says, “They (federal government) have Illinois trapped right now in a situation where they can't reduce their budget deficit, reduce their spending.”

Bridge Replacement to Begin

May 11, 2012

The first of two bridges north of Macomb on U.S. 67 will be replaced this construction season. They're located one mile south of the intersection with Highway 9.

Crews will begin the $4 million project May 14th.

Bill Lewis is the construction field engineer for the project. County Contractors, Inc. of Quincy will do the work.

He says, “The schedule's pretty tight for them to get that first structure done this year. So they'll jump into that right away.”

The oak tree planted in Macomb's Chandler Park this year has a plaque at its base. The plaque honors the late Bob Swanson.

Swanson was a nurseryman who grew his beyond his profession into volunteering to  plant trees in Macomb.

He was one of the original members of the city's Tree Board 20 years ago.

Former Mayor Tom Carper appointed him at that time.

Water Rate Hikes Are Becoming a “Hardship”

May 2, 2012

The mayor of Colchester says the rise in water rates from the city's supplier, Macomb, is becoming a “hardship” for residents.

Macomb will raise the water rates for Colchester 5% effective August 1.

Mayor Danny Bice says water rates have skyrocketed since the city started receiving its water from Macomb about nine years ago.

He says, “Sooner or later there has to be a stopping point on the water increase. Because it's (gone) up 150% since we hooked on (to Macomb service).”

One year ago, an estimated 3,000 partiers gathered on a two block stretch of Wheeler Street in Macomb to celebrate the approaching end of the WIU school year.

Broken glass littered the street, numerous arrests were made, and a crowd control team was needed to break up the gathering.

The scene was much different this past weekend. Police were there to keep an eye on things but there was not much to see. Several smaller parties were held, no arrests were made, and no citations were issued.

Rich Egger

Macomb won't be joining the list of Illinois communities going on the open market to buy electricity in bulk for consumers.

A 2010 Illinois law allows municipalities to engage in electric aggregation and presumably secure cheaper prices for residents and small businesses.

Residents of Ipava, Table Grove, and Canton voted in favor of such plans during the March election.

But Macomb aldermen feel there is no evidence of significant savings.

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

Apr 23, 2012

Devotees of the written word will share their passion and free books April 23rd. It's the first World Book Night in the United States.

Macomb is one of 5,000 U.S. communities chosen to take part. The city's public library and New Copperfield's Book Store were selected as distributors. World Book Night is sponsored by a consortium of book publishers and authors who donate the books.

Linda Cox of New Copperfield's said “book givers” each have 20 books to give away.

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

Apr 23, 2012

Devotees of the written word will share their passion and free books April 23rd. It's the first World Book Night in the United States.

Macomb is one of 5,000 U.S. communities chosen to take part. The city's public library and New Copperfield's Book Store were selected as distributors. World Book Night is sponsored by a consortium of book publishers and authors who donate the books.

Linda Cox of New Copperfield's said “book givers” each have 20 books to give away.

Macomb's Earth Day Celebration will bring the public close to nature with several birds of prey on display.

Veterinarian Drew Kaiser is head of the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy. He will bring a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel, a barn owl and a screech owl to the event.

People love to watch the magnificent birds.  However, he says we are not their best friends.

He says, “80% of the time the trauma that we see are man-made. Whether that's your posts, telephone poles, fences, automobiles, things like that.”

Districts Will Compare Notes on New Curricula

Apr 18, 2012

Next school year will be a year of transition for Illinois districts. Many will complete the transition to new Common Core standards adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Macomb Superintendent Alene Reuschel said the change makes professional development more urgent for teachers.

She said, “Schools traditionally have their own kickoff meetings but this time we're going to come together as an education community. And because we're all facing many of the same challenges, especially in the Common Core.”

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