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Rock Island County Board asking for more time to decide on fate of old courthouse

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ROCK ISLAND - If Rock Island County's courthouse is good for anything, it's good for a heated debate.

"There's nothing wrong with this building, it's got old aging problems but it was maintained while I was here," said Cecilia O'Brien, County Board member.

"We don't have the funds to maintain our facilities, to make the argument at the same time that we need to keep the building, is very perplexing to me," said Scott Terry, County Board member.

Board Members still don't know what to do with the 121-year old building, but the public can't agree either.

Chief Judge Walter Braud is giving the county an ultimatum, decide by the end of 2017 or risk losing $1.6 million to pay for the demolition from the construction budget for the new courthouse annex.

"I do not like the idea of people threatening lawsuits to get their way," said O'Brien.

There may be no other place to get the cash.

"This county has no money, our auditor can tell you that our general fund will be exhausted in about 12 to 18 months and there are no revenues to replace that," said Kai Swanson, County Board member.

The county is discovering that time is money.

"I don't know how you make the argument that we aren't just delaying and I'll end with this, to kind of compliment that point, what is the plan?" asked Terry.

That remains the million dollar question.

The County Board isn't the group spearheading the funding for construction of the annex, that's the work of the Public Building Commission.

The commission meets Wednesday, December 14, 2017 and will hear the county board's request for more time.

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