Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen want still more information before deciding whether to provide a letter of endorsement for a proposed housing development. The letter would help the Sterling Group obtain some federal tax credits for about four dozen single family homes it plans to build near East Pierce and East Streets. City council members spent a considerable amount of time questioning the developer Monday night. They still want some financial questions resolved and would like to see a sample lease for the rent-to-own homes.
Keokuk, IA – A member of the Keokuk School Board died over the weekend. Dr. Tom Wemette, 66, passed away on Sunday morning at Keokuk Area Hospital. He worked in public education for roughly 40 years. Included in that was the 25 years Wemette served as principal at Keokuk High School. He retired in 2003. Wemette was also 2 months into his first 3-year term on the Keokuk School Board. He received the most votes during the September school election. The Keokuk School District will have to name a replacement for Wemette in the very near future.
Havana, IL – Havana will debut its new tourism trolley at the Christmas Parade with Santa and 30 school children aboard. The Chamber of Commerce purchased the rubber-tired vehicle to ferry passengers from visiting riverboats to the downtown shopping district. Wendy Martin of the Chamber of Commerce says it can also be used for reunions or ferrying party guests to special events. She says the gas trolley is a 1989 model purchased from North Carolina. The chamber bought it with with some bed tax money and donations from chamber and community members.
Macomb, IL – Growers at an organic crop workshop in Macomb learned how to control pests and more about becoming certified. The extension-sponsored session included a round-table of organic growers from the western Illinois region. Mary Wilson from Midwest Organic Services Association outlined procedures for becoming certified according to the USDA guidelines. She says documentation is what many growers believe to be the hardest task. She also says many growers move toward growing organically because of their concern for the health of the soil.
Keokuk, IA – The results of a recent study could help Southeast Iowa bring in new jobs and businesses. The laborshed analysis, conducted by Iowa Workforce Development, looks at the potential workforce in this part of the state. Professional Developer, Paula Nissen, says the numbers show that if a large industry came to the area, it would not have trouble finding employees. She says economic development leaders would have to make sure, though, that the workforce has access to educational advancement. Nissen says the largest available workforce is in the field of advanced manufacturing.
Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will decide whether the university should observe Presidents' Day instead of Lincoln's birthday. That might not seem like much of an issue, but it generated some passionate discussion during the board's most recent meeting. Trustee Michael Houston said Abraham Lincoln is a true hero who's considered the greatest American president. He believes the nation has moved away from honoring its heroes and says Lincoln's birthday should be recognized in Illinois instead of holding a generic Presidents' Day holiday.
Macomb, IL – The McDonough County Assessor's Office will reach out to real estate buyers to tell them of possible tax exemptions. Supervisor of Assessments Tammy Camp says the letter will go out to the buyers, asking them to stop by her office. She says staff will be able to explain who qualifies for which tax break. She says almost 200 residents complained earlier this year that they were not informed of the owner-occupied tax break, which can abate up to $500 on a tax bill.
Macomb, IL – The director of the Macomb Park District believes the long-range development plan is still on schedule, even though no state grant money was awarded for it this year. The district applied for $400,000 from the Open Space Land Acquisition Development (OSLAD) program to begin the process of developing the University Drive property and renovating Downing and Patton Parks. Macomb Parks Director Ray Peterson says it would have been nice to receive the money this year, but adds the long-range program is still in its early stages.