Will County approves intergovernmental agreement for courthouse

Brock A. Stein | 1/22/2016, 9:52 a.m.
Will County board members approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Joliet this week that sets in motion the ...
An artist's rendition of the new Will County Court building.

Will County officials have approved an intergovernmental agreement with Joliet that sets the stage for the construction of a new courthouse building in the city’s downtown.

The new 390,000 square foot, 10-story courthouse complex will be constructed on the site of the former Midwest Bank building at 50 W. Jefferson Street.

Plans have been in the works to replace the aging courthouse building over the past few years in order to accommodate a growing Will County population. The new building will include designs that take in to consideration the projected growth of the county over the next 30 years.

The county plans to issue bonds for the estimated $150 million project which is included in a broader capital improvement plan that will also include two new satellite court sites in eastern and northern Will County as well as a new health department building and a Laraway Road Sheriffs facility.

In total, the projects could cost up to $225 million though board members approved a bond plan in December that authorized up to $275 million.

Joliet approved its part of the agreement earlier in the week. The city has agreed to pay $500,000 per year toward the project over the next 20 years for a total of $10 million. The city also has agreed to waive its fees related to construction which will amount to just under $2 million.

Will County Board member Jim Moustis praised the agreement citing it as an example of government doing what it is supposed to do.

“This is a real triumph for us and the city of Joliet,” said Moustis who described the work to get to the resolution as “a long road.”

Moustis noted that the agreement was the “first of hopefully many of our intergovernmental agreements to bring the work of the people forward.”

Contact me at brock@thetimesweekly.com or on Twitter @BrockAStein