With Hope Creek in mind, Rock Island County Board votes no to referendum for new courthouse

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The Rock Island County Board voted no to a March 2014 referendum that would go before taxpayers to provide up to $72 million for a new courthouse and remodeling of the existing County Office Building.

Rock Island County Board Chairman Phil Banaszek said the future of the Hope Creek Care Center has a lot to do with the no vote.

"Unfortunately, the Hope Creek situation has come to head and there are people out there that feel that if this question is on the March ballot, it's going to somehow affect the November ballot with the Hope Creek situation."

The Rock Island County Board will likely ask voters if they support a property tax increase to keep Hope Creek running in November.

Board members say they are losing $9,000 because the State of Illinois is not reimbursing them for their Medicaid patients at Hope Creek.

The nursing home faces an anticipated $2.5 million deficit next year. The county has already borrowed $750,000 toward the home.  A vote was scheduled on the December 17, 2013 agenda to allow Rock Island County to borrow up to just over $2 million to help fund the home, but because of procedures, the Board passed a motion to send that option back to the Health and Human Services Committee.

The Board did approve borrowing up to $5 million for general fund operational expenses.