Press Release 1

Troy Township Democrats

 

Executive Board:

Chairman:
Jeffrey Boetto
Vice Chairman:
Tom Earls
Treasurer:
Moira Dunn
Secretary:
Robert Greene

Next Election:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

demoGeneral Election. Head to the Will County Clerk's Web Site for information about the General Primary Election March 20, 2018.  General Election November 6, 2018.

Newsletter:

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Press Release 1

The Herald-News - Published by the The Herald-News

Some Will County officials desire Joliet incentives to keep courthouse downtown

Published: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 6:00 p.m. CST

JOLIET – County officials this week said they were serious about building a new courthouse in downtown Joliet – but some were equally hesitant to go all in, arguing the city should offer incentives for county government to stay put.

“The development of an urban site really is dependent on Joliet’s cooperation,” County Board Speaker Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort, said during a workshop Tuesday. “It’s hard to make a commitment until they make a commitment.”

Who benefits more from the other came into question this week during a meeting in Darien at the headquarters of Wight & Company, the consultant hired for the courthouse preliminary design work.

There, county officials reviewed the pros and cons of building on a green site away from downtown Joliet versus building at the First Midwest Bank site, across the street from the existing courthouse.

Moustis said the city is largely empty when county government takes a holiday.

“It’s kind of like Gotham City. It’s dark and dreary. Nobody’s there,” he said. “Tumbleweeds are going down the road.”

Nick Palmer, chief of staff for County Executive Larry Walsh, said he and Joliet officials are having continued discussions about the new courthouse, noting that insulting the downtown area won’t help matters.

“The county executive still believes a positive deal can be reached. But name-calling and that kind of stuff is not helpful to the process,” Palmer said. “We’ve got to work with Joliet and Joliet’s got to work with us. If Joliet wants us to stay, they’re going to have to be a little more aggressive in this. It’s give-and-take. Both sides have to come to the table and work to a compromise.”

County officials hope Joliet will provide additional parking near a new courthouse and install fiber-optic technology to provide high-speed Internet, among other things.

But it’s clear the county would likely save money if the courthouse is built downtown, City Manager Jim Hock said Thursday.

Opting for an 11-story judicial complex downtown could cost between $232 million and $257 million, which includes renovations to the EmCo building and site improvements, according to Wight & Company estimates.

Building on a green site could cost anywhere between $256 million and $284 million, including land acquisition, parking, sewer and water, and other expenses.

“Why the court system would want to separate themselves from the rest of the county, at greater expense, is rather a good question, I think,” Hock said.

Hock said he has yet to be invited to discuss formal negotiations regarding the courthouse.

Still, it’s fair to say both the city and county government benefit one another, Hock said. Neither side has outlined a clear list of wants and needs.

“We’d like the county complex to remain downtown,” Hock said. “One business feeds off another. Attorneys locate offices in the downtown because the courthouse is here. Restaurants do well because people are going out to the lunch.”

 

 

 

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Will County, Illinois
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