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Recent photos from Rock Island County Sheriff Gerald Bustos showing deterioration of the old county courthouse are misleading.

The photos were taken after removal of the asbestos from the building's interior. During the asbestos abatement, 8" by 8" 1950's-era linoleum floor tiles and larger drop-ceiling tiles were removed.

The sheriff's photos indicate where the tiles were removed and in some instances show minor damage to the sub-floor, plaster ceiling and walls.

Leaking pipes were fixed through the years but, in numerous cases, the water-stained plaster was left for all to see or, at best, covered up with tiles. I myself witnessed this in the Recorder of Deeds office in the fall of 2018.

Nowhere do the images reflect structural damage to the exterior masonry walls, structural floors and other key components of the structure.

Crumbling masonry steps are reported on the building's exterior. These exterior steps are of a softer stone than the building, and should have been replaced with new steps and Americans with Disabilities Act accessible ramps years go. But the steps were left in disrepair, as was much of the interior of the building.

Let's not allow recent photos to misrepresent the condition of the courthouse and sway public opinion.

Randy Brockway,

Landscape architect,

Riverside, Ill.

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