TSPR Local

Rates could rise dramatically
1:39 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Colchester Seeks Grants for Sewer Project

Mayor Danny Bice

Colchester is looking for grants to help pay for sewer system upgrades that would bring it into compliance with federal EPA standards.

That cost is about $4 million.

John Calise, an engineer with Benton and Associates, told the city council it could get $1.1 million from the USDA's Rural Development program.

Mayor Danny Bice says the city needs to find grant funding to pay at least half the project cost to keep sewer rates from skyrocketing.

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Illinois House Speaker
4:08 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Madigan Talks About Pension Challenge

House Speaker Michael Madigan
Illinois General Assembly website

Illinois lawmakers continue to wrestle with the state's soaring pension costs. 

The General Assembly is set to adjourn May 31, yet at this time it's still unclear which -- if any -- of the various proposals to reduce pension costs will pass. 

Unions are fighting efforts that would reduce benefits for state workers, university employees, and public school teachers.

But many lawmakers, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, say an overhaul is necessary.  They point to Illinois' $83 billion unfunded pension liability that continues to grow. 

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Job Search Spending
3:07 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Another New Restriction for Illinois Colleges

Chapin Rose
Illinois General Assembly website

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to restrict public universities from using state funding or tuition money to cover the costs of campus job searches.
State Representative Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) said he has seen numerous outside search firms brought in to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

He said it's unfair for taxpayers or students to pay for expensive searches, which he said in many instances are unnecessary.

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Construction will begin in June
2:11 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

South Morgan Acres Permit is Approved

Hogs in a confinement facility

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved the permit for South Morgan Acres to be built in the northwest part of McDonough County.

The farm will be the home for up to 18,000 hogs. About 6,000 would be adults. The rest would be suckling pigs, many weighing less than 15 pounds.

Barbara Adams and her husband live less than 3,000 feet from the site. She says they already have one large hog farm about a mile away. She opposed construction of South Morgan Acres. The news the permit was approved made her “sick to her stomach.”

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Gravel in Place for Two Years
9:05 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Keokuk Looking to Replace Roads

The Keokuk City Council must decide how to pay for street reconstruction around Wells-Carey Elementary.

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.

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