Macomb, IL – The Macomb Board of Education is facing some tough decisions. A representative from a financial planning company told the board that the district's year-end balance is projected to drop in each of the next five years. Steven Miller of PMA Financial also said that by 2011 the district could be more than $5 million in the red. Miller said the board might be forced to evaluate staffing levels because of the drop in money and a drop in enrollment. He said nearly 60% of the school budget pays salaries and another 15% is spent on benefits.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen will have a bit more money to work with in the city's next budget. The city council voted 6-0 Tuesday night to hike the telecommunications tax from 2% to 4%. Fifth ward alderman Tim Lobdell was absent from the meeting. Macomb will begin receiving the extra tax money in August. The city estimates the tax will provide it with an additional $116,250 next fiscal year. Mayor Mick Wisslead says the money will go into the city's general fund. It will help fill some holes in the next budget, which goes in effect May 1.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk may borrow millions of dollars to repair the city's streets. The city council is considering a street repair program that would cost $12,000,000 over the next 12 years. Mayor Dave Gudgel says a program of this scale is essential to Keokuk's future and must begin this year. The city would borrow $3,000,000 every 3 years under the proposed repair program. Several council members say the loans can be structured so the property tax rate would not increase dramatically.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County is expecting some extra income this summer when a new cell opens on the landfill near Macomb. County Board Chairman Bob Harwick says the life of the current landfill cell is estimated at eight months. When that's closed and operators begin using the newly-constructed cell, the county will receive a host fee of $1 per ton which will go into the general fund. That's in addition to the cuarrent tipping fee, which must be used for environmental projects. Harwick estimates the county could receive up to $100,000 per year from the new host fee.
Fort Madison, IA – The right to an education is enjoyed by almost every person in this country. There are some people, though, who have lost that right. One young man is trying to better himself, through education, while behind bars. Andrew Maybee, 18, lost his freedom after being sentenced to 25 years in the Iowa State Penitentiary for assualt with a deadly weapon. He has served more than one year in the Fort Madison Prison. During that time, he has been earned his General Education Degree (GED).
Macomb, IL – More than 200 people attended the McDonough County Democratic Coalition's annual President's Day Dinner. The main attraction was US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Durbin is Senate Assistant Minority Leader, which makes him the number two Democrat in the Senate. Durbin says his top priority this year is health care. He opposes the advertising done by drug makers, which he thinks contributes to the high cost of health care. Durbin thinks the nation should set a goal of having every American insured within the next five years.
Keokuk, IA – One Keokuk-based business has been honored for keeping its operations in the city. Even though Metso Minerals closed last October, work is still being done at its plant in Keokuk. Morse Rubber LLC purchased Metso's rubber production line and has been in service for more than 3 months. President Pat Boyd says the company has received more local assistance than loans and tax abatements. The company received certificates of appreciation from the city and economic development leaders for its local investment. Morse Rubber employs 24 people.
Macomb, IL – McDonough county leaders will begin scanning applications for the ESDA Director's position this week. Board chairman Bob Harwick says nine applications have been turned in. More than 20 were picked up by interested persons. Harwick says the committee will look for police or fire experience when it chooses. He says the administrative knowledge will come as the successful applicant begins the state-required training. Harwick hopes the committee can begin interviewing applicants next week. ESDA funding for McDonough County is shared by the county, city and university.