Beardstown, IL – A Beardstown group is trying to find out more about the role Abraham Lincoln played when he practiced law in the town. Leigh Morris heads the city council's Old Courtroom and Museum Commission. He says the group is working to restore the second floor courtroom in the former Cass County Courthouse to the look it had when Lincoln practiced there. He says a researcher is also trying to find out more about Lincoln's interactions with townspeople.
Keokuk, IA – An industrial expansion in Keokuk, worth an estimated $70 million to $100 million, has cleared another hurdle. The Keokuk Board of Adjustment has awarded Roquette America the variance required to build its new boiler. This step is necessary because the project will exceed Keokuk's height requirement for buildings. Discussions focused on the industry's needes, the availability of new technology, and the potential impact from pollution.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County can now keep specific information regarding public safety confidential. This past spring, the state legislature gave counties and cities the authority to keep security procedures and emergency preparedness protocols private. The Board of Supervisors has adopted that policy. Chairman George Morgan says if certain procedures are made public, it could impact the safety of county residents. Some of the information that can now be kept confidential includes evacuation plans for county buildings, emergency response procedures, and architectural designs.
Macomb, IL – Macomb is about to take the next step in its process of determining whether a new public pool is needed. Aldermen next week will be asked to choose an engineering firm to study the issue. City Administrator Mike Hays believes it should take no more than 60 days for the firm to complete the report. He says the business will be charged with determining whether it's feasible to continue using Glenwood Pool or whether it's time to look at building a new facility. The city council's pool committee asked around five engineering firms to submit qualifications.
Carthage, IL – The Carthage YMCA will remain open for another three months while the board explores ways to keep it open permanently. Carthage board president Tyrone Jacoby says a fundraising campaign raised the $15,000 needed. He says during the three-month period the Carthage Y will continue to operate as a branch of the Hoerner YMCA in Keokuk. After that, he says the board is working to find a way to cooperate with other agencies such as the school district, the park district and the hospital to keep it open.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are considering the idea of extending and increasing the local option sales tax. The half-cent tax pays for street repairs and other infrastructure improvements. It's due to expire at the end of 2008. The city will need voter approval to extend it beyond then. Aldermen this week reviewed the idea of putting a referendum on the November ballot. First Ward Alderman Charles Gilbert also suggested the tax be increased to three-quarters of a cent.
Fort Madison, IA – Renovations to the new Fort Madison public library will get underway in the very near future. The city council has awarded the construction contract to Burlington-based Bi-State Contracting. The project will carry a price tag of just over $1.8 million. Library board president, Elaine Eschman, says the winning bid came in about $200,000 below estimate. Other than the impact of Hurrican Katrina on material prices, Eschman says the project is moving ahead smoothly. Eschman says the contractor will move in equipment, over the next few days and get to work after that.
Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison has started tearing down some dilapidated structures. The Chamber of Commerce has targeted around 20 run-down buildings that it feels should be demolished. Executive Director, Tracy Vance, says 2 properties, along Avenue H, have come down and two more could be torn down next month. He says unsightly properties are having a negative impact on the city's image, especially in the eyes of potential investors or industries. The city will pay for the first few demolition projects.