Rushville, IL – Mapping problems will slow the deriving of new values for Schuyler County's farmland. Supervisor of Assessments Suzette Rice says her office is using an outside firm to prepare some of the digital maps. Rice says the company has been unable to provide some of the data as quickly as she wanted. She's told the county board she probably will not have all farmland revalued until the end of next year. Rice says the state has indicated the average value will drop, but some parcels will receive a higher value.
Augusta, IL – The village of Augusta has completed its first emergency plan and is preparing to expand it. Committee chairwoman Cyndia Avise says her 16-member group wanted to complete a plan that would let the village continue for up to three days before outside help could come. She says there is emphasis on local resources. These include a contractor with equipment that could be used for rescue and community members with bedding, clothing or generators. Avise says the plan has been tested with a tabletop drill. The next step is working on plans for specific emergencies.
Warsaw, IL – The Warsaw City Council will be making some repairs to its water plant a little sooner than expected. The council has declared its water plant a public health and safety emergency. City leaders say by doing so, the council can immediately address some needed repairs, instead of waiting to receive bids for the project. Following the vote, the council hired Tri-County Electric to make the electrical and computer repairs at a cost of no more than $35,000.
Keokuk, IA – New stop signs will not be going up near the Kiddieland playground in Keokuk's Rand Park. The city council voted down a measure that would have created a 3-way stop at the intersection of 16th and Orleans. Mayor Dave Gudgel says numerous phone calls came in to city leaders opposing the signs in that location. Police Chief Tom Crew says the stop signs would have posed a safety risk during icy conditions and impact emergency routes. The city may put up children at play signs in the area.
Carthage, IL – A new Illinois assessment system is expected to have Hancock County farmland values decline an average of about eight percent. Supervisor of Assessments Dale Bolton says the new system rates farmland on the soil type, instead of the previous University of Illinois-issued productivity index. Bolton says some land will go down, and some could more than double its tax value. He says as farmland values drop, other types of personal property could be more heavily taxed to make up the difference.
Rushville, IL – Rushville and its disposal company have solved most objections to the town's new mandatory trash pickup ordinance. Mayor Ron Shepherd says residents who leave town for the winter will receive a minimum bill for the months they're gone. In addition, the company will haul the trash totes from the homes of residents who are unable to take them to the curb. Shepherd says a few low-income residents have qualified to avoid paying the monthly $14 fee. Shepherd says the firm also waived the monthly bill for a reservist couple that was called up for service in Iraq.
Macomb, IL – The new exhibit at the Western Illinois Museum is called "The Collection A to Z: Arrowheads to Zeno." The displayed artifacts are divided into 26 topic areas. There's one area for each letter of the alphabet. Museum board treasurer Gil Belles says the exhibit was an opportunity to display some items that have not been shown for a while. The exhibit opened this week and will remain on display until early March. A reception will be held Saturday December 3, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.