Illinois Schools Told What to Expect if Legislature Doesn’t Extend Income Tax Hike

Illinois schools would be allowed to stop teaching things like physical education, drivers’ ed and black history under a proposal that has cleared a state Senate committee. The panel approved the amendment to a school funding bill and could make more changes. Illinois schools say they are underfunded at a time when they’re being forced to teach more topics. And speaking of that, the state’s Budget Office has released a list of all Illinois districts and how much it says each would have to raise property taxes to offset the loss of state income tax, if it falls to its previous (3.75%) rate, as it’s scheduled to do in January. Here’s how it looks in our area, if the legislature doesn’t keep the rate at five percent:

In the West Central combined district…the school board would have to raise the property tax 7.8 percent. Continue Reading


WB Blames Sewer Rate Hike on DNR

The West Burlington City Council took the first-of-three steps last(Weds) night toward raising water, sewer, garbage & recycling pickup. Mayor Hans Trousil made no bones about the fact that the sewer rates are going up due to increasing DNR regulations.  He says there are other sources of funding, such as the state’s revolving loan program, but the expenses will be major. City Administrator Dan Gifford says “major” in this case means the upgrades will cost between 4- and 7-million dollars. One other proposal that was tabled…for more discussion…was an ordinance amending the utility bills’ due date and the maximum penalties on those who consistently pay late. Continue Reading


Burlington Approves Search Firm to Help Find New Superintendent

The Burlington School Board heard from four Superintendent search firms this afternoon, and have selected one. The board didn’t have much time to find one, due to the recent retirement notice from current Superintendent Jane Evans, so they had to work fast. A couple firms that spoke said they could help find a replacement in that short amount of time, and others felt that an interim might be the best way to go for now. The board came to a decision to hire Ray and Associates, Inc. Board President Marlis Robberts voted in favor of the firm, stating she liked that they came prepared… Ray and Associates was not, however, board member Linda Garwood’s first choice… Continue Reading


School Bd. to Hire Head-Hunter

Next month Burlington Superintendent Jane Evans will be retired so the Burlington School Board has very little time to find someone to replace her.  

That’s why they’re holding a special meeting this afternoon (wednesday) beginning at 3 o’clock. They plan to hear from four Superintendent Search Firms; each has a half hour to speak and discuss with the board. The firms include G. Tryon & Associates, Gary Ray & Associates, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC and RG School Executive Services, Inc.


According to the agenda, board members will pick one of these firms at their meeting today(Weds) at the Administration Building. Continue Reading


FertPlant to Get More Credits

They have assurances in writing that it won’t affect local tax revenues, so Lee County supervisors yesterday(Tues) rubber-stamped an increase in state tax credits to the Iowa Fertilizer Company from $10,000,000 a year to 15-million until fiscal year 2018.  

Iowa’s Economic Development Authority Board approved the tax credit hike last July, but it needed the County to sign off before it could take effect. Continue Reading


Brothers Killed in Weekend Crash

Two brothers are dead, following a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning on Louisa County Road X61, north of Toolesboro.  

The driver, 52-year old Ricky Hartsock of rural Letts, and his passenger, 53-year old Randy Hartsock of rural Columbus Junction, were killed when their vehicle failed to negotiate a turn, entered the ditch, struck a dirt pile, and went airborne, landing on its top. Both men were taken to University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where they were pronounced dead. Continue Reading


Airport Mgr. Airs Communication Concerns; Council Acts

The Burlington City Council dealt with a mixed bag of business last(Mon)night, including concerns by Airport Manager Mary Beaird that a pending commercial building project…and potential future ones…could threaten the airport’s relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration. The Council took Beaird’s comments under advisement, but voted unanimously to let developer Mike Pierson go ahead with his proposed Planned Unit Development.  Pierson hasn’t said what he plans to build. You’ll be able to see it for yourself on Sunday, June 1st…and last(Mon) night the Burlington City Council agreed…without debate…to designate 713 North Main Street (just north of 34) as a local historic landmark. Owner Kay Weiss says the home she and her late husband (David) renovated is the oldest wood-frame house in Burlington…and the council thanked her for her work. Continue Reading


Nick Breuer-New WB Head High School Fball Coach

It was made official tonight, West Burlington has a new head high school football coach, and Superintendent Dave Schmitt introduced him to the board after their regular meeting. We pulled the new coach, Nick Breuer, to the side after the meeting to ask what he plans to bring to the West Burlington School District… Breuer was also hired to help coach junior high track and teach PE/RTI. Continue Reading


WB Looks to Approve New Head Football Coach Tonight

West Burlington may have found its new head football coach. On tonight’s school board agenda is the recommended approval to hire Nick Breuer for the position and also hire him for junior high track and as a PE/RTI teacher. If approved, Breuer will be paid $4,054.00 for football, $2,252.00 for track, and $44,137.00 for PE/RTI. Tonight’s meeting is set for 7 o’clock. Continue Reading