Rock Island Looks To Lawsuit Against Milan For Jumer's Crossing - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Looks To Lawsuit Against Milan For Jumer's Crossing

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A big development project is set to give an economic boost to Rock Island, but the city may have to file a lawsuit to make it happen.  

Earlier this year, the city of Rock Island bought 100 acres of land across from Jumer's Casino for one million dollars. The plan is to redevelop the land to put in restaurants, retail shops, and housing, calling it 'Jumer's Crossing'. But city officials say they need to have highway access to Big Island to do it. That requires modifying the levee around the area. 

The levee is sponsored by the Village of Milan and the Big Island Conservancy so Rock Island needs to submit part of its plan through them.    

Monday Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley said both groups have chosen not to submit the plan to the Army Corps of Engineers for approval.     

Now the city is looking into pursuing legal action to get control of part of the levee, with the mayor saying they will file a lawsuit if they have to. 

"This is about jobs, this is about economic development, we need to continue to get sales tax and property taxes for our city, for the county and for our schools," Mayor Pauley says. 

After months of talk to get highway access to Big Island, the city of Rock Island is talking a possible lawsuit to get Jumer's Crossing one step closer to reality. 

"We would not degrade the levee at all because anything we would do, it would probably be better than it is right now," Mayor Pauley says. 

But that answer isn't enough for the Village of Milan and the Big Island Conservancy who sponsor the levee. 

"We're not even close to being ready to approve anything," Milan Mayor Duane Dawson says, "There's a lot of information we still need, and I think Rock Island knows that; we're very concerned with anything that's done to move that levee." 

Milan city officials say they need information like where the runoff will go and how utilities and water/sewer lines will be installed. Those are concerns residents and the Rock Island Conservation Club nearby share too.  

"You can say you're going to make that levee 100% better, OK keep the floodwater out, but you're not taking care, or letting us know how you intend to take care of that runoff, where's it gonna go, what's gonna happen with it?" Big Island Resident Cindy Miller says. 

Those questions, city officials say they're not at a stage to answer yet.  

"They're concerned about what Big Island is ultimately going to be and we have to take this in steps, and the first step is to get through the Corps [of Engineers], if we don't get that approved we don't have a project, we need to get that approved first," Rock Island Mayor Pauley says. 

Now, Rock Island city officials are possibly taking their neighbors in Milan to court to make that happen. 

"Certainly if we're presented with a lawsuit, we're not going to roll over, I guarantee you that," Milan Mayor Dawson says.     

There will be a hearing on September 12th to consider allowing the city to get legal counsel.