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Next Step in Efforts to Replace RI Co Courthouse

East side of the Rock Island County Courthouse
Rock Island County Courthouse

A Henry County judge may decide tomorrow whether Rock Island County can build a courthouse annex without holding another referendum.

Michelle O'Neill reports Judge Dana McReynolds will hear evidence in a lawsuit filed against the Rock Island County Public Building Commission.
The lawsuit is a legal test of the proposal by the Rock Island County Board and chief judge to replace the aging and crowded courthouse on 15th Street in downtown Rock Island.

Nearly 35 years ago, the board established the building commission, but limited its power to jail projects only. State law requires a referendum to change or expand the commission's power. And in 2013, voters rejected a proposal to do just that.

Last summer, the Rock Island County Board approved the proposal from the commission to build an annex on the north side of the justice center. Then in the fall, Chief Judge Walter Braud appointed a special prosecutor, who filed the lawsuit against the commission for overstepping its authority.

The hearing will be held tomorrow at 1:30 pm, at the Henry County Courthouse in Cambridge.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.