Dec. 4 Rockford City Council briefs

Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) proclaimed the week of Dec. 4 to be Autism Awareness Week in Rockford and urged residents to learn more about the disorder and to support autism programs. After more than 50 years of research, autism is still relatively misunderstood. The disorder is generally discovered in childhood and is most prevalent in males.

The mayor presented Jon Lundeen with the Studs Terkel Award for his work in the humanities. Mayor Morrissey proclaimed Dec. 4 to be Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award Day in Rockford.

Mayor Morrissey reminded citizens Dec. 7 marks the end of yard waste and leaf collection in Rockford for this year.

The mayor thanked the community for its patience while the City continues snow removal. Mayor Morrissey pointed out the Dec. 1 storm set an all-time high for a single day of snowfall in Rockford

The mayor spoke briefly about Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s visit to Rockford Nov. 29.

The mayor also spoke briefly about the Nov. 28 public hearing, hosted by U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Egan), to discuss the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to the Labor Day flood. Morrissey wants the taped testimonies of flood victims included in FEMA’s consideration of our appeal to the denial of federal flood assistance.

Mayor Morrissey spoke briefly about the visit of a delegation from Changzhou, Rockford’s sister city in China. The mayor said the program is essential to what he calls “business match-making.”

Paul Sletten, who owns restaurants Brio and Cru, addressed the City Council regarding parking problems downtown. Sletton suggested the removal of time restrictions on parking in the area.

Kevin Seuring, proprietor of The King’s Table, also addressed downtown parking. Seuring argued there aren’t enough places for his customers to park without the worry of getting a parking ticket.

Kryptonite owner Chris Wachowiak also urged the council to reconsider parking restrictions downtown. Wachowiak pointed out lifting some of the restrictions may aid in luring businesses downtown.

The City Council passed an ordinance increasing the 2006 tax levy for streets and bridges. The levy will increase from the current .06 percent to .1 percent.

The council also passed an ordinance for the levy and assessment of taxes for fiscal year 2006.

Many aldermen spoke regarding snow removal problems in their wards following the Dec. 1 snowstorm. The Public Works Department was thanked for the hard work of city plow crews, but problems with hired contractors were numerous.

There was still no vote regarding the issuance of up to $23 million in bonds for MetroCentre renovations. Rockford’s Planning and Development Committee is still waiting to see the intergovernmental agreement with Winnebago County. City Attorney Ron Schultz said the agreement would be ready by the next meeting. If it passes in committee Dec. 11, the full council will likely vote on it the same night to ensure renovations will be completed in time for the start of the 2007/2008 hockey season.

Ald. Bill Timm (R-9) was absent.

From the Dec. 6 – Dec. 12, 2006, issue

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