Rushville, IL – Quincy attorney Hubert Staff is the first chairman of the new Western Illinois Economic Development Authority. The 13-county group organized this week and has begun writing its by-laws. It will be able to issue up to $250-million dollars in bonds to help start regional economic development projects. Macomb's Mayor Mick Wisslead is the McDonough County representative. He says the authority will work closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Hamilton, IL – Construction is expected to be completed by May of next year. The new plant will generate about one million gallons of water per day. The project is expected to cost more than $3.5 million. It will be paid for through loans, grants, and city money. Water and Sewer Superintendent Tim Schilson says the new plant will not have a significant impact on water rates, which were increased substantially several years ago in preparation for the new facility.
Carthage, IL – The Hancock County Sheriff is replacing four part-time deputies with one full-timer to provide courthouse security. John Jefferson says the county board increased to $25 from $15 the security fee added to most criminal convictions. Jefferson says the fund should now produce about $49,000 dollars yearly, more than enough to pay for the deputy. He's also looking into other equipment to screen courthouse visitors. He says that could include an X-ray machine or a walk-through metal detector.
Macomb, IL – In an interview with Tri States Public Radio, State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said he believes the state's new spending plan is good for western Illinois. He says the region fared well when the state's fiscal condition is taken into consideration. Sullivan says agriculture and WIU did not sustain any funding cuts. Sullivan says he's frustrated by the continued lack of money for opening the juvenile prison that's been built in Schuyler County. He says other possibilities are being explored for the facility.
Fort Madison, IA – Many of Lee County's departments are split between the north and south county seats of Fort Madison and Keokuk. The Board of Supervisors is now reviewing whether money could be saved by consolidating some of those operations. It appears the board favors the idea of moving the county engineer's office to Donnellson. Supervisors have also talked about moving the entire staffs of the auditor's and recorder's offices to Fort Madison and placing the treasurer's office in Keokuk.