RICO board to consider resolution to demolish historic courthouse

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - The Rock Island County board is expected to meet on July 11 at their committee-of-the-whole meeting, to discuss a newly drafted agreement between the county board and the Public Building Commission (PBC) that would allow the county to hand over the deed of the courthouse.

If the agreement is approved tonight, the deed will be handed over to the PBC who would pay $1.6 Million to tear down the building, pending Tuesday night's vote.

The PBC will also pay to construct green space and additional protection outside of the newly constructed justice center in Rock Island, right next to where the historic courthouse still stands.

That money comes from the initial $28 Million the PBC bonded to start construction on the justice center back in 2016.

This agreement will be the fourth agreement to be presented to the board in recent months. Other agreements have been rejected by the board for various reasons.

If this version is rejected, time could run out and contractors could move on. Board members say if that happens, the county would then be responsible for the cost of demolishing the courthouse, and currently there is no money to take on that extra cost.

Meanwhile, preservationist still believe the courthouse should be saved and hope to persuade the county to find ways to re-purpose the 123-year-old building.

The board is scheduled to make a final decision on the fate of the courthouse, and vote on the resolution to demolish the building on Tuesday, July 17.

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