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City and retaining wall owners ordered to try mediation

The city of Moline and the owners of a crumbling retaining wall on 12th Street on Monday were ordered to mediation to try and settle the terms of its repair. Rock Island County Circuit Court Judge Lori Lefstein issued the order after Cheryl Colmark's attorney, Michael Massie, encouraged the mediation and said Ms. Colmark was prepared to start immediately. The limestone wall roughly stretches from 8th-11th Avenues, and holds back a hillside on top of which sits a mansion once owned by John Deere. The wall has been in disrepair for years, and more recently, large sections have fallen onto the sidewalk.

Mrs. Colmark and her husband, Roger Colmark, each own a section of the wall, according to county property records. Moline asked for a court order allowing it to enter each property so it can build a new retaining wall in front of the old wall. The city also requested the court order the Colmarks to reimburse Moline for abating the nuisance.

Mr. Colmark — who was representing himself Monday — said after the hearing he would not participate in mediation until he issues discovery and receives all documents from the city. He told Judge Lefstein that he voluntarily gave up all rights to his property to the city.

Mr. Colmark formerly owned the John Deere mansion, but split the parcel so the home was separate from the wall before losing the mansion in foreclosure.

By Dawn Neuses, qconline.com
May, 2015

TESTIMONIALS

Connie Theron, Practising Attorney - UCT Law Clinic
“While working at the University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and later at the UCT Law Clinic, I found the pro bono mediation services of Gerrie van der Watt of the Mediation Centre to be highly professional and extremely effective in our divorce matters. It is fantastic that our clients, with little or no financial means, can benefit from such an excellent programme.

The mediators are able to provide a non-threatening environment in which the clients are able to talk openly about issues that matter most to them, but which the Court in a divorce matter may choose not to entertain. Through the mediation sessions, the clients are able to reach an agreement together which ultimately they are both happy with. In cases where mediation did not yield the result of a settlement, the process was still extremely valuable, giving the parties better perspective and highlighting the key issues in dispute.”