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.
Monmouth has hired a new police chief. He is Bill Feithen. Feithen has been with the DeKalb Police Department for 37 years. He served as the city's police chief for the last 11 years.
City Administrator Eric Hanson said Feithen distinguished himself during the evauations.
He said, “We had three chiefs of police that did an assessment of all the top candidates and provided a recommendation to us. And Chief Feithen was the unanimous recommendation by his peers as the right person to move our department forward.”
The finalists for the Monmouth police chief will be put through their paces this weekend.
City administrator Eric Hanson said the field of over 30 original applicants has been reduced to five. The Illinois Chiefs of Police will conduct assessments of the five.
He said, “Everything from how they would manage personnel to media to specific police incidents that they might have to handle. So it's a gamut of exercises that they put them through to gauge their knowledge and skill set.”
The assessment will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Monmouth.