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Archive → December 12th, 2015

Public gets 1st look at planned Will County courthouse

Alicia FabbreDaily Southtown

Will County Board members Thursday got their first look at what a new, and bigger, county courthouse could look like.

Architects from Wight & Co. showed off concept plans for a 10-story building at the southwest corner of Ottawa and Jefferson streets in downtown Joliet. The courthouse would be adjacent to a four-story building for court-related offices such as those of the circuit court clerk and the state’s attorney.

“I’m very excited about the possibility that we could have a courthouse that would bring us into the 21st century,” said Will County Circuit Court Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt, who has lobbied for years for a new courthouse.

County officials agree that the existing courthouse, which has 23 courtrooms and was built in 1968, is too small for the court system and presents several safety concerns. Schoenstedt has regularly noted that inmates, judges and jurors often use the same hallways.

The elevators routinely break down, ceilings in some courtrooms are in need of repair and lines to get into the courthouse during peak times well outside the building and even down the block because of the small entrance.

The concept plans presented Thursday show a courthouse with space for up to 34 courtrooms, though only 30 would be completed initially. Plans also include dedicated hallways and holding areas for inmates on each floor.

The proposal also includes space for future expansion if needed — such as an annex to hold specialized courtrooms — on property at Ottawa and Washington streets.

The First Midwest Bank building would be torn down to make room for the courthouse. That building, owned by the county, is being used to temporarily house the Will County Sheriff’s Department until a new sheriff’s headquarters is built at the sheriff’s Laraway Road facility.

The fate of the existing courthouse remains unclear, though some County Board members suggested Thursday that it would be cheaper to tear it down than try to retrofit it for office space.

Board members also sparred Thursday over the proposed financing of the roughly $170 million courthouse project.

Member Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, presented a proposal that would tap various revenue sources, but not increase the county property tax, to pay off a $225 million bond issue over 30 years that would finance the courthouse project as well as the new sheriff’s police station and a county health department building.

Under the proposal, the county would cover the debt payment with about $2.4 million from the general fund each year as well as $2.8 million in annual fees on courthouse case filings, courthouse parking and landfill operations as well as $2 million from Public Building Commission tax revenue.

Joliet also recently pledged $10 million toward the new courthouse, and Will County also would use its share of Regional Transportation Authority sales tax income to help cover the building projects.

Several Democratic members of the County Board questioned the financing plan, noting that it did not address what would be cut to allow for the use of $2.4 million from the general fund, the county’s main account for daily operations.

“I want to move (the courthouse) forward, but I want to make sure the plan we have works,” board member Don Moran, D-Romeoville, said. “Absolutely the county needs (these new buildings), but I want to make sure we’re not stepping off a cliff we can’t recover from.”

Moran and others noted they had only recently received the funding proposal and questioned why the board’s Republican majority was requesting a vote on it at the Dec. 17 meeting. Nick Palmer, chief of staff to County Executive Larry Walsh, argued that Walsh’s staff was not consulted on the proposal and had not had time to review it.

“People spend more time researching tennis shoes or TV purchases,” he said.

The board Republicans, however, argued that the topic of financing the projects was discussed at meetings of the board’s finance committee and that board members have been encouraged to provide feedback.

Board members agreed to delay a vote on the bond issue and discuss it further during a special committee meeting on Jan. 14. Palmer said Walsh’s office plans to present an alternative to the funding proposal at the January meeting.

Source: Will County News

GUN CONFISCATION LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN ILLINOIS

 

Letterhead

GUN CONFISCATION LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN ILLINOIS
MOST ANTI-GUN BILL EVER

Editors Note: The Constitution gives us the right to bear arms to protect all our other right from a tyrannical government. Our lawless President uses his regime of Czars, Departments like EPA and DOJ, ignoring the Constitution, making laws as president taking duties residing with the Legislature, in an effort to move us toward more government control where the president is more li9ke a King.

The right to bear arms protects us from enemies of the Constitution both foreign and domestic.

facebook_event_1462704984037946

 

Earlier today, hardcore antigun extremists in the Illinois House introduced HB4359 which would require you to surrender your FOID card and firearms if your name ever appears on the government’s “NO FLY LIST.”  Obama and the gun grabbers would like you to believe that people on this list are too dangerous to own guns.  If one accepts that simplistic view, then HB4359 might make sense to them.  However, the thinking person will have a lot of serious questions about the no-fly list.

NO-FLY LIST Q&A:

1.  Q: How does a person get on the No-Fly List?  A: That’s a secret.
2.  Q:  Who adds names to the No-Fly List?  A: Bureaucrats and political appointees.
3.  Q:  By whose authority are names added to the No-Fly List?  A: That’s a secret.
4.  Q:  Can a person’s name be placed on the No-Fly List for political reasons?  A: That’s a secret.
5.  Q:  Does a person have to be convicted of a crime to be on the No-Fly List?  A: No.
6.  Q:  Is a person whose name is on the No-Fly List given the opportunity to face their accuser(s)?  A: No.
7.  Q:  Does a person’s name remain on the list forever?  A: Probably.
8.  Q:  How many names were on the No-Fly List when Obama took office?  A: 50,000.
9.  Q:  How many names are on the No-Fly List today?  A: 750,000.
10. Q:  Is the No-Fly List a dangerous affront to liberty?  A: Yes.

WHO ARE THE LEGISLATORS RESPONSIBLE FOR HB4359?

1.  Rep. Greg Harris (217) 782-3835

2.  Rep. Lou Lang (217) 782-1252

3.  Rep. Deborah Conroy (217) 782-8158

4.  Rep. Litesa Wallace (217) 782-3167

5.  Rep. Emanuel Welch (217) 782-8120

6.  Rep. Christian Mitchell (217) 782-2023

7.  Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr. (217) 782-8117

8.  Rep. Martin Moylan (217) 782-8007

9.  Rep. Cynthia Soto (217) 782-0150

10. Rep. Mary Flowers (217) 782-4207

11. Rep. Anna Moeller (217) 782-8020

12. Rep. Kathleen Willis (217) 782-3374

13. Rep. John D’Amico (217) 782-8198

14. Rep. Sonya Harper (217) 782-5971

15. Rep. Camille Lilly (217) 782-6400

WHAT DOES HB4359 MEAN TO YOU?

IF THIS BILL PASSES AND YOU EVER END UPON THE NO-FLY LIST:

NO ARREST

NO TRIAL

NO JUDGE

NO JURY

NO APPEAL

NO GUNS

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PROTECT YOUR GUN RIGHTS:

1.  Call each of the Representatives listed above and politely tell the person who answers the phone that you do not support HB4359 and its attack on the 2nd and 5th Amendments.
2.  Call your State Representative and politely tell them that you would like them to vote against HB4359.  If you do not know who your state representative is, then click this link at the Illinois State Board of Elections:

http://www.elections.state.il.us/districtlocator/districtofficialsearchbyaddress.aspx
3.  Pass this Alert on to all your friends and family, ask them to make calls too.
4.  Post this Alert on any Internet blogs and Social Media sites to which you may belong.

WE ARE HERE TO DEFEND YOU

Rest assured that the ISRA will be keeping on top of developments in this situation.  Please check your email regularly for updates or visit our web site: http://www.isra.org
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The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of lawful Illinois firearm owners. # # #

 

Source: Will County News