The so-called "Blue Ribbon" committee formed with impetus from Sen. Mike Jacobs to accelerate the development of Western Illinois University's Moline riverfront campus is already on the job. (The term "Blue Ribbon takes on new meaning since the ultra-expensive restaurant of the same name in Moline has become the hang-out of choice for certain politicos after their former hang-out, the equally high-priced "Five", went out of business.)
Sub-committees of the panel include Finance and Legal, Political and Community Affairs, and Construction and Operations, which has already met this week.
The panel is to present their recommendations by mid-May of this year.
It would take until 2008 to open the new campus in Moline, WIU officials said earlier this year. The project also still needs an estimated $15 million for construction.
The recommendations will be presented to state state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline; Illinois State Rep., Pat Verschoore, D-Milan; Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, and Western Illinois University president Alvin Goldfarb.
"We need to sprint, not walk," Sen. Jacobs said in a statement. "WIU's expansion on the Moline riverfront is critical to our area's economy and quality of life."
Sub-committee members are: Construction and Operations Sub-Committee:
Todd Raufeisen, Chair, Raufeisen Development Company
Jerry Taylor, Dispatch/Argus
Bill Brewer, WIU
Rory Washburn, Tri-City Building Trades
Jeanne Clerc, WIU
Mike Thoms, Thoms Proestler Company
Jim Collins, Deere & Co. Finance and Legal Sub-Committee:
Deb Peterson, Chair, Trinity Regional Health System
Ted Johnson, Quad City Bank and Trust
Lew Steinbrecher, city of Moline
Matt Stern, Stern Beverage
Harvey Levin, Califf and Harper, P.C.
Jackie Thompson, WIU
Pete Benson, Lane and Waterman Political and Community Affairs Sub-Committee:
Bob Imler, Chair, RiverStone Group
Jeff Terronez, Rock Island County state's attorney
Ken Schloemer, QCREDA
Roger Clawson, State Farm Insurance
Carolyn Ehlert, Deere & Co.
Jeff Nelson, MetroLINK
Dave Steelman, WIU
Joe Moreno, city of East Moline