Fort Madison, IA – The service at Lee County's 2 driver's license divisions does not seem to have been impacted by fewer hours of operation. In the past, residents could get a driver's license in both Keokuk and Fort Madison 5 days a week. Now, the Fort Madison facility is only open Mondays and Wednesdays and the Keokuk station is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no service on Fridays. Treasurer Mary Hoenig says this has not had a major impact on the number of licenses issued. The true impact of the move will be seen at budget time.
Carthage, IL – Carthage city leaders will be negotiating with a manufacturer this week: they want a replacement for a storm siren that blew off its mounting. Mayor James Nightingale says the siren near the high school blew off during the summer. He says the city believes it was installed improperly or it would have stayed on the pole. Nightingale says the manufacturer is offering a limited warranty on the job, but the mayor believes it is too limited. He says the city spent almost $50,000 on the siren and it should have stayed in place.
Macomb, IL – Those who live and work near a Macomb bar are raising some issues as a new owner prepares to take over the establishment. The tavern The Dog Pound on North LaFayette is being sold to a businessman who wants to convert it into an "ultra-lounge" named Detox. Among other things, it would feature live music. Barbara Houck does not like that idea. Houck says she's lived in that area since before any bar was located there. She told aldermen this week that bands create too much noise. She says the music can be heard even when all of her windows are closed during the winter.
Macomb, IL – Macomb will hold a Truth in Taxation hearing on its proposed tax levy. The hearing will take place during the city council's December 19 meeting. The hearing is required because the proposed new levy is more than 5% larger than the current one. City Administrator Mike Hays says Macomb is getting $1.19 million this year. The new levy seeks more than $1.2 million. He says the city needs the extra money to keep up with increasing expenses for items such as energy and health insurance. Hays says the owner of a $90,000 home would pay an extra $3.31 to the city.
Keokuk, IA – Construction could soon begin on a major renovation project at Keokuk Area Hospital. The "Special Delivery" Capital Campaign kicked off in May. The goal is to raise $1,000,000 for the complete renovation of the obstetrics department at Keokuk Area Hospital. Phase I involves outfitting special private rooms for expectant mothers.
You can hear Public Radio's Jason Parrott's interview with Community Relations Director, Rhonda Schreck, and Hospital Foundation Executive Director, Sandy Seabold, by clicking on the audio link above.
Rushville, IL – Mapping problems will slow the deriving of new values for Schuyler County's farmland. Supervisor of Assessments Suzette Rice says her office is using an outside firm to prepare some of the digital maps. Rice says the company has been unable to provide some of the data as quickly as she wanted. She's told the county board she probably will not have all farmland revalued until the end of next year. Rice says the state has indicated the average value will drop, but some parcels will receive a higher value.
Augusta, IL – The village of Augusta has completed its first emergency plan and is preparing to expand it. Committee chairwoman Cyndia Avise says her 16-member group wanted to complete a plan that would let the village continue for up to three days before outside help could come. She says there is emphasis on local resources. These include a contractor with equipment that could be used for rescue and community members with bedding, clothing or generators. Avise says the plan has been tested with a tabletop drill. The next step is working on plans for specific emergencies.