By Stuart R. Wahlin
The Rockford City Council approved a committee report recommending contracts be awarded for washing and detailing of city-owned vehicles. Octopus Carwash was awarded the deal for city cars at a rate of $7.99 per wash, for an estimated annual total of $15,340.80. Trucks and vans will be covered by Super Suds for an estimated annual total of $12,955.20. Pickups washing and detailing will be at a rate of $11.99 per wash and trucks will cost $20 per wash.
The council gave its unanimous final approval to Noise Violation/Vehicle Impound ordinance. The new law amends an existing ordinance related to the use of amplified sound systems on public streets. If sound from a vehicles stereo system can be heard from 75 feet away, the violators vehicle will be impounded. In addition to impound and towing fees, fines increase with subsequent violations. Police will begin enforcing the new ordinance Sept. 4. Meantime, officials plan an ad campaign to educate the public about the new law.
Aldermen gave the nod for improvements to sidewalks along Chestnut Street.
Clayton Balmes spoke on behalf of the Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe. Historic Auto Attractions will host a Police, Fire, Emergency Response Family Appreciation Day Aug. 26. Emergency and military equipment will be on display and the $10 museum admission will be waived for emergency and military personnel and their families. Balmes said as many as 500 families are expected to attend. Balmes urged aldermen and the public to attend and say thank you, not only to the first-responders, but to their families. For more information, visit www.historicautoattractions.com.
John Weaver, a regular speaker during public comments, praised City Administrator Jim Ryan for taking the reigns in the midst of disaster while Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) is out of the country on his honeymoon. Weaver also gave city departments a pat on the back, and said citizens should be proud of the way their leaders have responded to the Aug. 7 flooding.
Weaver asked the City Council to delay any action related to repairs to the Alpine Dam, which flood waters nearly spilled over after heavy rains fell in the early hours of Aug. 7.
The problem is the watershed and its not the dam, Weaver argued. Over-building on wetlands above the dam have changed the level of the floodplain below this dam.
The torrential rains and subsequent flooding didnt dampen the spirits of those who attended Rockfords observation of National Night Out Against Crime Aug. 7. Weaver, who was recently asked not to name specific aldermen in his critiques of the council, listed the wards of aldermen who did not attend. Joe Sosnowski (R-1), Lenny Jacobson (D-6), Frank Beach (R-10), Linda McNeely (D-13) and Dan Conness (D-14) were Weavers intended targets.
Weaver invited city leaders and the public to participate in an Aug. 22 grassroots march against crime and violence. The march starts at 4:30 p.m. at Stepping Stones, 706 N. Main St. A neighborhood party will follow the march. For information, call (815) 968-2205.
Aug. 20 was proclaimed Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Day in Rockford. City Police and Fire unions will compete to give the most blood and the public is also urged to donate. Those wishing to give blood Aug. 20 will be able to do so at City Hall.
Firefighters serving flood victims
Firefighters Union Local 413 has organized an Aug. 19 fund-raiser to benefit flood victims during a RiverHawks game at Road Ranger Stadium beginning at 5 p.m. Free passes for the game are available to flood victims. A shuttle will also be made available to victims. Donations of non-perishable food items and school supplies will be accepted. Those making donations at the game will receive half-price admission. Monetary donations will be entered into a raffle to win various prize packages, including two round-trip tickets to fly out of the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.
Local 413 will also assist residents with removing debris and placing it on the curb where the city will pick it up. Firefighters will meet at Hallstrom Center, 1300 17th St., at 9 a.m., Aug. 16. More volunteers are encouraged.
Ald. Linda McNeely (D-13) and Mayor Morrissey were not present.
from the Aug 15-21, 2007, issue