Why not consider using Audubon to fill some county needs?


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Posted Online: May 01, 2013, 3:20 pm
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Rock Island County voters recently rejected the "blank check" referendum to build a new courthouse. A committee will draft another proposal, this time with actual costs.

But, it was not just the "cost" voters are against, they oppose moving the courthouse from downtown. Another development that has met opposition is destruction of Audubon School for another grocery store on 18th Avenue. A new Fareway would saturate the market (especially given the new Walmart), and be a slap in the face to Aldi and Hy-Vee which have invested so much in that area.

Rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach, I believe we need innovative solutions that meet government needs (not their "wants") and also appease citizens.

For example, Fareway has not officially purchased the property. The county should buy Audubon and use it as a courthouse annex. Both buildings could be gutted and remodeled to meet today's standards. Audubon could host the traffic and civil courts, as well as county clerk offices. Violent cases could still be held downtown close to the jail. A centralized building is not necessary with today's technology.

Plus, many creative individuals have worked hard to revive downtown, and we cannot abandon all that work by removing its anchor. (The Seaford factory could be another option for an annex or police station.) I believe the leaders and citizens can find some resourceful solutions to meet today's needs while still preserving our history and character.

Devin Hansen,
Rock Island















 



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  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.




(More History)