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Attorneys argue over Big Island Levee

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Attorneys for the city of Rock Island and the Village of Milan met in court Tuesday morning, January 14th, 2014. They are at odds over the Big Island levee that involves the potential Jumer's Crossing project.

Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley briefly discussed the project during his State of the City address Monday. The retail development is supposed to go up at the corner of Illinois 92 and I-280 across from the Jumer's Casino. The Village of Milan and the Big Island Conservancy have to approve any of the plans that the city submits.

An $80 million retail development could go there, but the city needs to build a new road into the site. That would also change the Big Island levee that protects residents from flooding. The city would also be charging Rock Island residents a $50 assessment fee if they live on Big Island. The special assessment is why the issue is in court. The circuit court is supposed to decide whether Rock Island has the authority to issue the assessment to its residents.

Mayor Dennis Pauley says Rock Island's next step in the Big Island process all depends on what happens Tuesday in the court hearing. There is no word on whether the judge will make a decision then, but Rock Island leaders have threatened to sue in the past, if they couldn't build a road into the site.

The Village of Milan and the Big Island Conservancy District control the levee. That is their main argument on why the levee should not be modified.