RI County Board slowly getting closer to courthouse decision

Tuesday night the board voted to make a decision by July 18

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - The Rock Island County Board is slowly moving closer to deciding what to do with the county courthouse, but not all board members are convinced they've made progress.

Tuesday night the board approved a July 18 deadline for deciding if they should demolish or preserve the building. 

The board had planned to approve an agreement between the county and the Public Building Commission, but it wasn't that straight forward. 

Confusion over legal terms and whether or not the county had already done a thorough review of the courthouse triggered debates among members.

Board member Scott Terry said they set a deadline, but that deadline doesn't come with any ultimatum like a previous version did.

"What we saw tonight was more political maneuvering. Some more spinning out wheels. An opportunity to say that we passed something that unfortunately really is nothing," Terry said. 

During public comment, two people from the Rock Island Preservation Society and Moline Preservation Society voiced concerns about how the county would pay for demolishing the courthouse. 

Right now Rock Island County is planning on using surplus bond funds, but a lawyer for the preservation societies said that would be a misuse of the money. This goes against the findings of the Chicago-based law firm the county hired.  

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