Rock Island County Board agrees to make a final decision on old courthouse in July

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- The Rock Island County Board voted tonight to take a small step towards tearing down the old historical courthouse, Tuesday May 15.

The board voted on an agreement to make a concreate final decision of the building’s future in July.

Although the agreement will bind the board to make a decision, critics say the plan has little teeth, and still allows the board to potentially postpone a final verdict even further.

“It binds us to make a decision, but it doesn’t tell us what decision we will make. Unfortunately, this body has a track record that is not sterling when it comes to acting. I see it as a door wide open to continue to kick the can down the road,” says Rock Island County Board Member, Scott Terry.

In the meantime, preservationist from both Moline and Rock Island preservation societies have hired a lawyer, who says using bond money to raise the old building is illegal.

“Our lawyer is writing that this has nothing to do with the fact that this is a historic building. It is just that they are not using the funds legally the way they are supposed to use the funds without going to a public vote,” says Diane Oestreich, from the Rock Island Preservation Society.

Read the full opinion here: opinion from the attorney preservationist hired to look into the legality of the Public Building Commission using funds for the demolition of the Rock Island County courthouse.

It’s an argument the county rejects, saying lawyers it hired say demolition using bond money available is legal.

Rock Island County gets the legal green light from Chicago law firm, to use bond money to tear down the old courthouse.

Oestreich says although she is disappointed by the boards decision Tuesday night, she is not surprised. Rock Island and Moline Preservation Societies plan to announce their next steps to save the old courthouse after further consulting its lawyer.