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Rock Island County Facilities Committee

A new committee has been formed to study the courthouse, and other Rock Island County facilities. Appointed by county board chairman, Phil Banaszek, the 12-member group will hold its first meeting next week.

Banaszek says he wants input from a wide range of people on the condition of the buildings and whether any, or all of them, should be replaced. He'll ask the committee to study, and then rank 9 options.

The facilities committee members include the sheriff, Farm Bureau director, a lawyer, union leader, and business leaders. And the co-chairs will be two members of the county board - Brian Vyncke from Moline and Kim Callaway-Thompson from Rock Island. Its first meeting will be March 9th.

But the group doesn't have much time - Banaszek wants it to finish its work before the referendum on April 9th - that's when county residents will be asked to expand the authority of the Public Building Commission. Currently it only oversees the jail and justice center, but a "yes" vote will add all the other county facilities. And that in turn would allow the commission to borrow money to pay for renovations or new buildings.