Kewanee municipal operations are based out of the multipurpose municipal building at Veterans Park. The building is home to the city clerk’s offices, the city engineer, the health, building and zoning office, and the fire and police departments.
Kewanee has the council-manager form of government, which combines the efficiency and expertise of a professional management staff with the responsiveness of five elected council members.
The City Council consists of the mayor and four council members, all elected to four-year terms. The council sets policy and the city manager and city staff handle the city’s administrative duties. Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, and are broadcast on local cable television.
The council hires the city manager, who directs a management team which in turn administers the various city departments.
A public works director is in charge of the street department, water department, sanitation and sewer departments, as well as city parks and the grounds at the city municipal building. Kewanee employs a full time city engineer to work on projects involving the city’s infrastructure.
The city also recently completed a major upgrade to the community’s water system.
The project included two reverse-osmosis water treatment plants, at Fifth and Tremont streets and Hollis and Garfield streets. Each of the plants has the capacity to treat the entire city water system.
A health, building and zoning officer enforces city codes and the city zoning ordinance. This city staff member also conducts monthly meetings of the Planning commission, which makes recommendations to the council on zoning matters.
Kewanee's police department is one of the best in downstate Illinois, with a group of highly-trained officers who provide 24-hour police protection in the city. The department features a K-9 unit, an emergency response team and a detective bureau.
Training is also at a high level in the fire department, which also operates the city’s emergency ambulance service. All ambulance personnel hold EMT-I certification.
Kewanee also operates the Kewanee Ambulance Service, a non-emergency service which transports patients from Kewanee to out-of-town healthcare providers.