County issues $150,000 loan to keep jobs

The Winnebago County Board approved a Resolution Authorizing Execution of a Loan Agreement with Servicom LLC of Machesney Park June 14. The $150,000 loan for the minority-owned call center is hoped not only to help retain jobs, but add some new ones.

Servicom, also requesting a loan from the Village of Machesney Park, specializes in outsourced sales, customer service and market research. John Ekberg (R-10) indicated Servicom jobs pay anywhere between $8 and $14 per hour, plus benefits. The company employs 100 locally, but hopes to expand to 124 with the aid of the loan.

Ekberg warned, however, if the loan agreement was not approved, Servicom may relocate to Canada. Sue Mroz, director of Regional Planning and Economic Development, added relocation to Mexico was also a possibility if the board did not issue the loan.

Pete MacKay (R-5) asked what sort of credit rating the company has. Ekberg described Servicom’s rating as third position, acknowledging some risk to taxpayers.

“It is a higher-risk loan,” Mroz said of the General Business Security Agreement (GBSA).

Some board members, such as Bob Kinnison (R-10), pointed out how vital it is to keep jobs here in Winnebago County.

“It’s going to provide the types of jobs that it meets the criteria almost specifically,” Kinnison asserted. “I’m looking forward to not only retaining jobs here, but increasing the job base with this particular organization.”

MacKay cast the only vote against the loan agreement.

“If we don’t loan ’em the money, they’re going to Canada—is that what I heard?” MacKay asked. “Let ’em go.”

Other notable County Board action includes:

Bob Kinnison (R-10) was appointed chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, replacing Mary Ann Aiello (R-9), who resigned that post earlier this year. Doug Aurand (D-3) said the committee had not called a meeting in about six months. Kinnison invited Aurand to the June 20 meeting of Health and Human Services.

County Board members voted to settle three claims against Winnebago County. Settlement claims were approved for Dawn Bond in the amount of $12,690, Marsha Luhman in the amount of $41,500 and Eartha Williams in the amount of $31,962.80.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) read a letter of resignation from Dave Krienke (R-3) and declared the position vacant. In April, Krienke was elected Roscoe Village president and is stepping down from the board to fulfill those duties. At the previous meeting, May 24, Christiansen read a resignation letter from Ray Graceffa (R-7). Graceffa, 83, stepped down for health reasons. Christiansen said he hoped to have some names to read in at the June 28 meeting. No candidates have been named for either Republican-held seat. The board will have 60 days to fill the positions.

County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff provided an update on the Harlem toll bridge issue. Last month, Doug Aurand (D-3) brought to the board’s attention the bridge’s high number of toll violators. The Sheriff’s Department has since deployed deputies to enforce compliance.

“We’ve been able to get the violation rate down from as high as 12 percent,” Vanderwerff reported, “down to less than 5 percent.”

The County Board approved a Resolution Authorizing the Execution of an Intergovernmental Grant Agreement with the State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) in the amount of $42,000.

The board also approved a Resolution Authorizing the Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement for Court Administration Services in the amount of $9,000.

A Resolution Authorizing the Execution of an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with the City of Rockford Regarding the Application for and Allocation of Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Funds was approved. Per the agreement, Rockford would receive 60 percent, and the county would receive 40 percent.

Brian Lyons and Norma Polcek were re-appointed to four-year terms on the Loan Review Committee, expiring in October 2010. Polcek owns Samco of Machesney Park.

Frank Dowd was re-appointed to six years with the Pecatonica Cemetery Association. His term expires June 2012.

Melissa Alton and Bryan McCray received three-year re-appointments to the Seward Sanitary District. Their terms expire in May 2010. Alton is employed at Seward Screw Products, Inc.

Dr. Robert Behmer and William J. Cross Jr. were re-appointed to three-year terms on the Win-Bur-Sew Fire Protection District. Behmer’s term ends May 2009, and Cross’s term expires in May 2010. Behmer owns a family practice in Roscoe.

from the June 20-26, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!