RICo to borrow from judge's fund to pay for courthouse study


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Posted Online: April 16, 2013, 9:31 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
Rock Island County will borrow $250,000 from a fund controlled by Chief Judge Jeffrey O'Connor and Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman to cover the cost of studies on the scope of a proposed new courthouse.

The county board approved an intergovernmental agreement to borrow the money from the courthouse automation fund.The fund is used to establish and maintain automated systems for keeping court records.

Rock Island County Board Chairman Phil Banaszek said the money likely will be used to fund a space needs assessment. The study would determine how much space the county would need if a new courthouse were developed.

In a referendum during the April 9 election, voters rejected a proposal to expand the authority of the county's public building commission so that it could be used to finance the courthouse project.

The county board is likely to pursue a new referendum next March on the courthouse, but Mr. Banaszek and other county officials want to have more information on the scope of the project before then.

The loan from the courthouse automation fund provides an alternative way to pay for a space needs assessment. The public building commission cannot be used to fund the study because it is limited to jail projects only.

The county board already has sought requests for qualifications from consultants interested in performing a space needs assessment.

Mr. Banaszek said the proposals range in cost from about $60,000 to as much as $400,000. A special committee established to study the courthouse issue will assess the proposals and make a recommendation to the full county board.

The courthouse does not meet minimum guidelines set by the Illinois Supreme Court and 14th Judicial Circuit judges led by Chief Judge O'Connor have been pushing for construction of a new courthouse.

Judge O'Connor served the county with an intent to sue in December but has put the lawsuit "on hold" to allow the county board to work to find a solution to the problem.

In other business Tuesday, the county board again tabled a proposedelectric transmission agreement with Rock Island Clean Line LLC. The company wants to run a high-powered transmission line through the northern part of the county, but the project has been opposed by landowners.

Supporters and opponents of the project spoke at Tuesday's meeting but the board voted 14-9 in favor of a motion from Rock Island County member Chris Filbert, R-Cordova, to table the agreement.

Ms. Filbert said the county should not approve an agreement until the Illinois Commerce Commission has given the project the all-clear.The proposed agreement would see the county earn about $62,000 per year for 20 years from the transmission line.



















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




(More History)