Bushnell hoped to avoid spending the $650,000 for catalytic converters on the engines at its power plant. Mayor Steve Russell said the city keeps the plant as a back-up and doesn't run it regularly.
However, maintaining the power plant brings in $25,000 monthly payments.
Russell said the city buys electricity from a consortium, the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. The agency makes those payments for the city's generating capacity. One condition is that the power plant meets EPA regulations. New regulations require the installation.
Dr. David Jameson's retirement left Bushnell without a dentist. The city has moved to fill the cavity in the community.
Mayor Steve Russell said, “We had a team of people here made up of several interested people that might like to work with us and get the word out there that we were interested in having a dentist in Bushnell.”
Representatives from the Bushnell Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation pitched in. He said Kim Pierce of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce also helped with the search.
Bushnell Mayor Steve Russell said the city is “very frugal” when it comes to street repairs. He said the city has a long-term plan to fix streets, sidewalks and gutters. All it needs is a new source of revenue to make that happen.
The city is putting a half-cent sales tax increase before voters next Tuesday. If approved, the city's sales tax would increase to 7.25%.
Bushnell city employees are saying the city did not tell them how much this year's health insurance coverage would cost them.
This year's plan provides a $500 deductible. The city pays 80% of the next $7,000 is costs. Employees can pay up to $1,900 in health care. That's about $400 more than under the current plan. . Mayor Steve Russell said the city is asking employees to submit their questions-and complaints-to city hall in writing. The deadline is February 29th.
Bushnell is willing to pay $40,000 to settle a case with the Illinois Commerce Commission over a gas leak that led to a house explosion at 519 N. Washington in November 2009.
The ICC investigation determined a contractor damaged a gas line and a sewer line. That allowed natural gas to flow into the sewer and into the house. The resident reported the odor to the city. The natural gas ignited. No one was injured.
The ICC alleges the city did not respond properly. The commission cited the city for nine violations.