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Hope Creek Care Center

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It’s over. The controversial ordinance may have been rewritten twice Thursday night at a short special meeting of the East Moline City Council, but in the end East Moline City Council opted to take no principal on the original liens and no interest money either. The two utility liens in original form were for $11,242.51 and compounded interest was said to have totaled more than $200,000.

But East Moline will receive none of that. Still, simple math may have been the deciding factor for the property on 4343-Kennedy Drive, which also happens to be Hope Creek Cares Center.

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It’s been a busy week of emails between East Moline Alderman Larry Toppert and city officials but city administrator Doug Maxeimer is hoping the agreement by the county to pay for the actual cost of two liens dating back to 1984 on the Hope Creek Care Center property that the county has agreed to pay goes by without further disagreement.

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The previous week ended with both governors announcing schools would be closed in terms of in-person attendance for the remainder of the school year.

Here’s a recap of local and state coronavirus related news from Friday, April 17 through Friday, April 24:

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An old utilities connection lien that has been on the Hope Creek Care Center property on Kennedy Drive in East Moline for decades is technically still on the books after the East Moline City Council Monday voted 4-2  with one abstenation to an amended version of the ordinance.

The new ordinance calls for East Moline to seek only the two lien totals, which are for about $11,200 — not the liens plus the accumulated interest — which was in excess of $200,000.

There was a fear that the lien dispute could hold up the pending sale of Hope Creek to Aperion by the county.

What happens now? 

"I don't think it will get to court," said Doug Maxeiner, East Moline city administrator. 

"I will give (Rock Island County administrator) Jim (Snider) a call (Tuesday morning) and let him know what the vote of the council was. And then we will put a game plan together."

But Maxeiner does not foresee a court battle ensuing. 

"I think we will have a discussion at the staff level between the county and the city, and there will be some agreement on how we address this," he said after the meeting.

"If they pay the liens, and we're satisfied, they would be released, and they would not even be addressed at closing," he said. "I think that's probably what will happen."

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The battle is not quite over as far as East Moline First Ward Alderman Larry Toppert is concerned.

In what was just the first reading of Ordinance 20-04, releasing a utilities connection lien on the property where Hope Creek Care Center was built, Toppert was the lone no vote in a 5-1 tally with one alderwoman absent.

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Aperion Care, the nursing home chain in talks to buy Rock Island County's Hope Creek Care Center, was fined $366,800 by the Illinois Department of Public Health in 2019 across its 34 Illinois facilities, including a $50,000 fine at the Forest Park location after the body of a 64-year-old man with dementia was found in a river after he fled the facility. 

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