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 Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.








(More History)