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The Cities - 11/4/23

 In this episode of the Cities, we explore the financial health of Rock Island County, with Richard Brunk, the county board chairman, shedding light on the past financial crises and the recent reduction in property tax levies. The sale of the former county-run Hope Creek nursing home has significantly improved the county's financial outlook, along with receiving bond rating upgrades. Brunk attributes these positive changes to tough decisions, new budgeting approaches, and effective leadership.

The demolition of the old county courthouse is discussed, along with the efforts made to preserve artifacts. We also explore the potential use of the vacant courthouse site as a park and the possibility of future expansion. Administrative improvements such as hiring a county administrator and reducing the county board size have successfully streamlined governance.

Shifting gears, we dive into the rich Belgian heritage in the Quad Cities, especially along 7th Street in Moline. The Belgian Museum of the Quad Cities, celebrating its 60th anniversary, takes center stage as we emphasize the importance of genealogy research and passing down heritage to younger generations. We also highlight beloved traditions like waffle breakfasts, lace making, and the unique Belgian sport of Rolly Polly.