County courthouse committee regroups, moves on

One day after voters overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to help build a new Rock Island County courthouse, a committee in charge of finding a solution for the aging building says it will move forward. With baby steps.

“We’ve got 8 different options, from new to renovation. We’ll discuss the option for where we go from here because we know we don’t have a funding source for what we’re going to be doing”, said committee co-chair Brian Vyncke.

The bi-partisan committee which includes political and business leaders met Wednesday with a mandate from the people, who voted down a plan that would get the ball rolling on a new courthouse by a 60-40 margin.

“I wouldn’t say I’m shocked, it was a very short time to educate people”, Vyncke conceded. “It was too much, too soon”.

But while the public wants to take it slow, Chief Judge Jeffrey O’Connor has threatened to sue the county if it doesn’t move forward with a plan. The long neglected structure he says, not in compliance and unsafe for workers and visitors.

Vyncke says the ad hoc committee will continue to study short term and long term options and make its recommendation in a timely manner, and suspects the issue will wind up on the ballot again in a year.

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