RI County Board to Consider Borrowing Millions - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

RI County Board to Consider Borrowing Millions

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The Rock Island County Board is facing some pretty major decisions at its next regular meeting next week, after the county board's Finance Committee voted to send two big issues on for the board to consider.

One of those decisions is whether the county should go ahead and borrow millions of dollars.

During Friday's committee meeting, county leaders voted to approve a proposal to borrow $5 million for the general fund and $2,040,000 to fund Hope Creek Care.

The money for both would come from future funds anticipated to come into the county in tax revenues.

Those proposals now go to the full county board for a vote, as does a courthouse referendum question that could go to voters this March.

The finalized referendum question considered by the finance committee on Friday would ask voters whether the county should move forward with a $72 million project to build a new courthouse and renovate the county administration building.

Last spring, voters rejected a similar referendum, with many saying they didn't have enough information including things like an estimated price.

The latest referendum question includes that price tag and scope, but getting it onto the March 2014 ballot is far from a done deal. That is if the heated debate at the committee level is any indication:

"I can't agree more that something needs to be done with the courthouse but $72 million I can't support. I'll have to vote no on this," said one Finance Committee Member, J. Robert Westpfahl, during Friday's meeting.

Some finance committee members expressed concern about moving forward putting the courthouse question on the ballot because it may compete for votes with other issues like a quarter cent sales tax.

Ultimately, they decided it should be up to the full board to decide the referendum question's fate.

Finance Committee Chairman Don Jacobs tells us he expects the next regular Rock Island County Board meeting to be a rowdy one because of these issues.

That meeting is Tuesday, December 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the third floor County Board chambers.

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