Dress for Success collection day at WQAD

Judge: Rock Island County Courthouse demolition can move forward

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- One day after a Peoria judge ruled that the Rock Island County Courthouse could legally be demolished, crews began setting up around the property.

On Tuesday, March 19 a Peoria County Judge dismissed all counts against the Rock Island County Board and Public Building Commission.

According to John Mcgehee, the lawsuit (filed by Landmarks Illinois and several other historical organizations) claimed the County and Public Building Commission violated the Historic Resources Preservation Act, but the judge ruled the county is not subject to that act.

The lawsuit also claimed the Public Building Commission did not have the authority to spend bond money to demolish the courthouse, but the judge ruled the Public Building Commission did have the authority

The ruling also effectively ends the temporary restraining order for demolition so the city can move forward with the demolition legally.

Rock Island County Board Chairman Richard Brunk says demolition could start as early as Wednesday morning.

The board received a county demolition permit, that came from the Zoning and Building Safety Department.

Chairman Brunk says they don't need a permit from Rock Island City anymore, according to him there is a state law that allows them a  workaround to just use the county permit without getting the city one.

Mayor Mike Thoms says the city is waiting for a stormwater runoff report before issuing the city permit.

Rock Island Alderman Dylan Parker says if demolition starts without a city permit they would look to do a stop-work notice on the contractor.

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