Macomb, IL – McDonough County board members want to make sure a hike in court fees will not be used for salary increases. The Finance Committee recommended a doubling of two fees as requested by Circuit Clerk Kim Wilson. However, board members are still angry with Wilson for increasing pay for some of her staff members by more than the county-recommended 3.3 percent. Board Chairman Bob Harwick said the committee will scrutinize future budgets from the circuit clerk's office to ensure that money from the fee increases is used only for computers and document storage equipment.
Fort Madison, IA – Next year's budget for Lee County could include lay-offs in one department. The Board of Supervisors recently told the Conservation Department to cut $100,000 from next year's budget. To do so, the department proposed moving the Roadside Management Program into the Secondary Roads Department. Chairman George Morgan says that will not save the county any money because another department would have to pay for it. He says, at this point, the Roadside Management Program will be cut from the budget, which means two Conservation Department employees will have to be let go.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are looking at more than $500,000 worth of construction projects - and that's just for starters. At Monday night's city council meeting, aldermen focused only on work that would be paid for through the half-cent sales tax. They agreed to give themselves power to act next week to authorize city staff to seek engineering proposals. City Administrator Mike Hays says timing is critical with road construction projects. Much of the work would involve surface treatment to streets such as Jana Rd, Penny Ln and Jamie Ln.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County is setting out its new Handicapped-Accessible voting machines for the public to try before balloting begins Feb. 27. County Clerk Florine Miller is especially interested in feedback from handicapped users. The machines have a touch-screen to vote with. There's also a set of headphones through which a synthesized voice reads the ballot. Voters can use a telephone dial-style keypad to navigate the ballot and cast their votes. The machine records the vote and prints on paper the results so voters can confirm their choices.
Macomb, IL – One of the goals for the Macomb Park District's executive director this year is to complete a long-range development plan. The park board recently approved a contract extension for Ray Peterson and he says that will provide him with an opportunity to work on the plan. The pact gives him a 3.3% pay raise, bringing his annual salary to $68,000. Peterson says preliminary details of the long-range plan could be available for public review within the next couple months. The plan should be completed by the end of the year.
Fort Madison, IA – One of Lee County's elected leaders says he will step down after this year. District 3 supervisor Joe Kowzan's term in office expires January 2, 2007. The Fort Madison Democrat says he will not seek another term in office. Kowzan says he wants to be more involved in other projects, such as the North Lee County Community Foundation. Kowzan took office in January of 2005. He previously served 5 years as the mayor of Fort Madison and an additional 4 years as a city council member. He says this is the right time to make the decision.
Carthge, IL – Planners in Carthage have received the first draft of a Corridor 336 study. Economic Developer Brenda Pyatt says the town's Impact Study Committee has been working more than three years on the document. It covers infrastructure, zoning, planning beautification and other topics for the area to be developed along Route 336 as it passes the town. After the study committee reviews the plan, a meeting will be held next month for public comment on the proposals. It will be reviewed by the town's planning commission before being fowarded to the city council for possible approval.
Canton, IL – Spoon River Colllege is changing the name and expanding the focus of one of its divisions. What had been Career and Workforce Development is now Community and Workforce Education. Dean Carol Davis says she will continue to organize personal enrichment courses and job-related certification. However, she will also work more closely with economic development agencies throughout the district. She will be able to organize courses to meet specific training needs for new or existing firms.