Court Hearing On Big Island Levee Case Will Help Give Residents - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Court Hearing On Big Island Levee Case Will Help Give Residents A Voice

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The City of Rock Island, residents of Big Island and the Village of Milan have been fighting over construction of businesses, an intersection and a levee that protects Big Island and parts of Milan.

Rock Island bought a plot of land just north of Jumer's Casino in the hopes to build a multi-million dollar shopping center called: Jumer's Crossing.

The city wants to remove 300 feet of the levee, along Highway-92 and push it back into the island. That way, they can build a road over the modified levee to get people in and out of the area. 

Residents and the Village of Milan are against modifying the levee; concerned about flooding if the levee is moved.
This morning a judge granted the Village of Milan, the Big Island River Conservancy District, Big Island residents and others the right to intervene. That means they can argue their case against Rock Island from building Jumer's Crossing. 

In the court hearing today attorneys on both sides argued about who actually has ownership of the levee.

Those representing the Village of Milan and others said that they are the "gatekeepers" for levee. Whereas Rock Island's attorney said that there's no ownership of the levee and rather the Village of Milan possess "easement" to maintain it. 

No decision has been made yet on who can rightfully control what happens with the levee. But residents of Big Island are really concerned about what might happen to their neighborhood. 

Here are some reactions and concerns from the residents of Big Island and the Mayor of Milan:

"I'm afraid the city is going to do something that's not very thorough in taking care and protecting us," said Big Island Resident Dan Miller. "I'm embarrassed as a citizen of Rock Island of the way the mayor and the city manager have tried to bully the city of Milan and us in the neighborhood."

"We think we have a very good case from past experience in other court situations and what we know from the (Army) Corps of Engineers and the federal government that we do have rights in this case," said Village of Milan Mayor Duane Dawson. "And that we want to proceed with them."

"If they go ahead, our way of life is going to be altered immeasurably," said Big Island Resident James Webb.

Residents and the Mayor of Milan said they're also worried about the traffic the shopping center could bring through their neighborhood.

They also said they have many unanswered questions from the City of Rock Island on how they will deal with drainage and where they will put utilities if they were to start construction on the levee. 

Another court hearing will be scheduled to discuss arguments on whether the Jumer's crossing development will go forward or not.