©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Knox County Courthouse to Get Analyzed
|The Knox County Courthouse will once again get analyzed ahead of what are believed to be a potential two-point-five million dollars in emergency repairs that will need to be made.
The Knox County Board voted 14-to-1 Wednesday night to employ Galesburg's Johnson Building Systems, and Iowa-based Durrant to conduct a space needs study, and estimate costs for any of three options for the future of the aging but historical structure: renovate and add on to the current facility, move non-judicial offices off-site, or build a new courthouse.
Residents spoke out in force on the options prior to the vote. One of them, Mike Kroll, said he thinks the proposal is a sham.
"If you go ahead with the consultants that you're looking at now, it's almost a pre-determined result that you're not going to be given advice to keep this building," Kroll said. "You're going to be advised to either build a new courthouse or to take and put on a costly addition that I don't believe can be done for reasonable cost and stay within the historic and architectural integrity of the building."
Knox County Board members are clearly angered over what some of them claim the public things will be done -- among them, District-Four Republican Wayne Saline.
"I don't know where this has ever come from. I keep getting these calls, I keep getting these letters from this person -- she's here tonight -- that we're going to tear down this (courthouse)," Saline said. "It's never once been discussed. I'm tired of misinformation being spread by individuals. These people come to these meetings, and they they write things that have nothing to with what was discussed. It's gotta stop."
Saline was referring to Anna Sophia Johnson, who sent County Board members and WGIL a letter this week again urging the courthouse be utilized. While she urges the courthouse not be abandoned, Johnson does not mention tearing the courthouse down.
The one "no" vote came from District-Two Republican Bill Abel, who says the county is just wasting more time.
"We've been fooling around with this for a number of years without decisions," Abel said. "I think the time has come to have a decision on this."
Galesburg resident Jim Jacobs told the County Board he doesn't see why the county wouldn't want to continue to use the current courthouse.
"I think that this structure is still sound, still functional," Jacobs said. "It's still a pride to me, and a pride to others in the county."
It's not clear when the needs analysis or cost estimates would be completed.
The two firms will also oversee the emergency electrical and plumbing repairs that need to be made to the courthouse if that route is chosen.
|05 27 10 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.