Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council is moving forward on a plan to improve the city's streets. The city's streets subcommittee has designated High Street, from 13th to 17th, and Pioneer Lane, as its top 2 priorities for year 1 of the city's street repair program. The city council has now taken the first step in actually borrowing the money needed for the project. Aldermen authorized City Clerk Donna Eilers to meet with Keokuk's financial consultants to find out what must be done to borrow as much as $3,000,000 during year 1.
Keokuk, IA – Two cities in Southeast Iowa have formed the state's first port authority. The Keokuk City Council has voted to create the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic and Port Authority. The Fort Madison city council approved the same measure earlier this week. Lee County Economic Development Director, Lowell Junkins, says the economic and port authority will push Lee County to the front in the race for jobs and economic growth. With the authority now officially established, Junkins says the members can start drafting the by-laws.
Bushnell, IL – Business growth in the region is fostering new businesses in Bushnell. Mayor Steve Russell says the Raritan State Bank will construct a branch on the south edge of town on six city lots. In addition, he says the town's Farmers and Merchants Bank will open a second facility along Route 41. He says land purchase is almost complete for a 40-unit housing complex and a new package store will be built along Route 9. Russell says part of the growth comes from new firms such as the Pella Corporation opening in Macomb. He also credits inclusion in the county's Enterprise Zone.
Macomb, IL – A detachment hearing that could transfer 15 students from the Schuyler-Industry to the Macomb school district is being continued until next month. The attorney for the Schuyler-Industry district says he did not receive an updated list of property values for the land that would become part of the Macomb district's territory. Doug Griffin says he needs the information to show the harmful effects of the detachment. Regional School Superintendent Robert Baumann says he will provide the information and scheduled another hearing June 6 at 5 p.m.
Keokuk, IA – Iowa's former economic development director says the business of renewable fuels is critical to the state's future. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Mike Blouin, says bio-diesel and ethanol plants have many positive aspects. He says the state should continue to create and provide incentives and tax credits for those who are producing clean alternative fuels. Blouin says too much of a focus has been placed on increasing the required blend of ethanol in gasoline. He says a greater emphasis should be on expanding the opportunities surround E-85 fuel, which is 85% ethanol.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen will take bids for a sewer project near North Liberty Street. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the new sewers will serve a recently-annexed area where residents are still using septic systems. He says the sewer extension will assure compliance with health codes. Shepherd says a state grant will cover $127,000 of the 187,000 cost. The city will pay the rest. Shepherd says he hopes to begin construction within two months. He says the project should be completed by fall.