Keokuk, IA – The former site of a manufactured gas plant in Keokuk will soon be cleaned up. Ameren UE will begin work, next month, to remove coal tar residues, still in the soil from when the plant was operating. The site is located on the west side of Main Street, between 16th and 18th streets. Supervising Engineer, Warren Mueller, says there is no contamination hazard. Mueller says future exposures could occur if the clean-up does not take place and someone is exposed to the residues while working underground at the site. He says as much as 15,000 tons of soil will be removed.
Rushville, IL – A non-profit group wants to build up to 40 single-family homes for Rushville. Don Harris says the Illinois Community Action Association will see if there is local support for the move. If there is, he says his group could seek financing early next year. Harris says they're considering a development with between 22 and 40 homes on lots averaging 8,000 square feet. He says they would be sold to working families either outright or on a rent-to-own basis. He has approached the city council and county board. Both groups plan to discuss the matter.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen will need to decide what incentives - if any - they're willing to offer for the proposed Lamoine Hotel redevelopment project. The project would create commercial space on the first floor of the old hotel and condominiums on the second through fifth floors. The developer has indicated to the city that there is a gap in the financing plan, though specifics were not provided during Monday night's committee of the whole meeting. The city is reviewing several options.
Monmouth, IL – Fire heavily damaged the Wells Pet Food factory in Monmouth Sunday afternoon. The first call came in to the fire department during the noon hour. At least seven departments helped put out the blaze. Two firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion and one other suffered a hand injury, but no major injuries were reported. Nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution after acetylene tanks in the building exploded. The factory at South 6th and D employed 75 people. It produced several brands of food for dogs and cats. Damage is estimated to be up to $10 million.
Macomb, IL – Western President Al Goldfarb is battling prostate cancer. Goldfarb says he feels fine but will undergo surgery to treat the problem. The surgery is scheduled for October 31. He will then spend a couple months recuperating. Provost Joe Rallo will assume the president's responsibilities during that time.
The following is Goldfarb's letter to the campus community:
Keokuk, IA – Senator Joe Biden says the United States must take a closer look at alternative fuels if it is going to reduce its need for foreign oil. The Democrat from Delaware says the production and development of ethanol and biodiesel need the full support of the federal government. Biden says investors on both coasts are starting to take note of the impact of alternative fuels, which he believes will improve the future of the Midwest. Biden says a greater push must also be made to promote flex-fuel vehicles, E85 fuel, and increased milage standards.
Fort Madison, IA – The director of the Great River Regional Waste Authority has been dismissed. The waste authority commission has fired Tim Yoder, effective immediately. Yoder had been on paid leave for nearly 2 months. Chairman Steve Ireland says the position will remain vacant for the time being. He says this was another step in improving operations at the waste authority. The firing of Yoder is the latest response to a state audit that found questionable spending at the waste authority.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County's board is asking its office-holders to prepare basically a flat budget for the coming year. Finance Committee Chairwoman Alice Henry says the only increase to be included in budget requests was a three percent pay increase for county employees. Henry says among the squeezes on county spending is the need to whittle down more than $600,000 in interfund loans. New federal auditing requirements require the repayment. Henry says the county is trying to repay a portion of the loans each year back to the environmental fund.
Macomb, IL – Three key recommendations are contained in the Illinois House Republican Motor Fuel Task Force report. One is to temporarily suspend the state sales tax on gas to provide relief for consumers. A second is to continue ethanol production and make sure the corn-based fuel is more widely available to drivers. The third suggestion is to expedite the permitting process for siting and building new oil refineries in Illinois. The task force spent the past year gathering input from around the state from truckers, farmers, the petroleum industry, local governments, and businesses.