I was disappointed by the media's coverage of the recent Hauberg Civic Center forum on the future of the Rock Island County Courthouse. To set the record straight, here are the facts that were presented:

1. The county has spent $100,000 litigating for the right to demolish the courthouse. Demolition will cost taxpayers an additional $1.5 million.

2. The county's decision to demolish the courthouse can be repealed --  particularly now that the county is being sued in court on six separate counts.

3. Architects and engineers who have visited the courthouse have judged it to be structurally sound despite decades of neglect.

4. The restoration of the 1896 courthouse is estimated at $150 per square foot. The new annex cost taxpayers over $600 per square foot.

5. The county has never tried to sell the courthouse.

6. The courthouse is a preferred project for historic tax credits matching 45% of the restoration costs.

7. The sale of the courthouse would preserve its history and generate millions in investments, sales, and property tax revenues for both the city and county of Rock Island.

8. There are at least five serious developers -- one in the Quad-Cities -- who would like to purchase and redevelop the courthouse.

The decision to repeal the demolition order and sell the courthouse is a complete no-brainer that Republicans, Democrats, environmentalists, and preservationists alike can agree is in our county's best interests.

One more thing: Sheriff Gerry Bustos, do your job; cover that hole!

Tyler Pannell,

Rock Island


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