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9-1-1 center to be named for Marketti?

Many voicing support of honor for late sheriff

At the request of some Grundy County Board members, the county is looking into the possibility of naming or dedicating the 9-1-1 center after the late Sheriff Terry Marketti.

After the news of Marketti’s death spread, David Welter, vice chairman of the board, said he received inquiries by numerous board members from both parties asking him to look into honoring the late sheriff this way.

Marketti died in his sleep this past December. His chief deputy, Kevin Callahan, was appointed by the board to take Marketti’s place.

Welter sat on the committee that looked at naming Morris Community High School’s football stadium after former coach Dan Darlington. He said he stated then he was against government buildings being named after people, but he said Marketti’s dedication to the 9-1-1 center was well-known.

“I know our politics didn’t match up and we didn’t always agree on issues, but this was kind of his project,” said Welter.

Through the years, Marketti consistently fought opposition from the county board on the cost of the new 9-1-1 dispatch center, located off Illinois 47 just before Illinois 113. The original estimate was $2 million, but it went to $4 million once the experts were consulted. Marketti took the brunt of the heat from the board on the price increase, since he was the chairman of the 9-1-1 board.

Welter said the idea is being brought to the Grundy County State’s Attorney to check the legalities since the 9-1-1 center is not owned by the county yet. The Public Building Commission technically owns the building and the county leases it until it is finished paying off the bonds, at which time the county then obtains the title.

Once he is advised by the state’s attorney, Welter said he would bring the idea through the county’s committee system.

Jim Wright, chairman of the PBC, said the PBC voted Wednesday unanimously on a resolution supporting the idea of naming the building after the late sheriff.

The decision lies in the county board’s hands, said Wright, but the PBC wanted the county to know it was in favor of the honor.

The resolution recommends “the dedication of the 9-1-1 dispatch building in memory of the late Sheriff, Terry Marketti.”  It gives the county permission to put any signs, plaques or photos inside or on the exterior of the building.

Attorney for the PBC and the 9-1-1 board, Scott Belt, said the 9-1-1 board in March will also make a recommendation to the county board. In addition to making a recommendation for or against the idea, he said the 9-1-1 board will also have more input on what exactly should be done, such as signage on the building or a plaque inside.

Sheriff Callahan felt the naming or the dedication would be a fitting honor for Marketti, whom he said in previous statements was his best friend.

“I think it would be a great idea, a great honor to have him remembered for his effort and hard work in getting that 9-1-1 center built,” said Callahan.

If the idea moves forward, Sheriff Marketti would not be the first in the area to have a building named after him. The current sheriff’s office building is named after Marketti’s predecessor, the late Sheriff Jim Olson.

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