City Council clears way for another Wal-Mart

Aldermen approved a revamped development agreement with Peoria-based Wald/Land Corp. during an April 17 City Council meeting. The revised agreement secures the future of another Wal-Mart in Rockford at the intersection of Alpine and Linden roads.

The new store would join locations on East State Street, East Riverside Boulevard, West Riverside Boulevard, plus Belvidere and Roscoe locations.

The agreement increases the preliminary agreement’s not-to-exceed amount, for intersection improvements, from more than $800,000 to $1 million. City Public Works Director Bill Bittner said the city would do the work and be reimbursed by the developer.

Wald/Land Corp. President Russell Waldschmidt said he’s happy the Council approved the new agreement.

“It was sent back to committee because there was a concern about exposure,” Ald. Frank Beach (R-10) said, adding the increase was the only change made.

Ald. Jeff Holt (D-11) voted to lay over the original agreement at the April 3 City Council meeting. Holt cited preventing a suspension of procedural rules as the reason for his layover vote. He also vowed then to vote against the agreement for intersection improvements at the April 10 City Council meeting, when he moved to send the agreement back to the Codes and Regulations Committee.

Holt said he was concerned about the city’s liability for intersection improvement costs over and beyond the orginal $811,451 estimate.

But, according to Waldschmidt, the new agreement protects the city and the developer. “We just want to have some idea that there’s a finality to the road work,” he said, adding he wanted to avoid being in a situation where the developer would be asked to do work not relevant to their project.

“I think, at the end, there’s an agreement in place that will work for everybody,” Waldschmidt said.

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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