June 25 Rockford City Council briefs

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118296423229851.jpg’, ‘Photo by Stuart R. Wahlin’, ‘Margie Veitch, president of the Neighborhood Network, invited aldermen to the association’s kickoff event June 28.‘);

Resolution on The MILL held out

After introducing a resolution June 18 to ask the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to reconsider its decision to essentially bring operations of The MILL (Motivating Individuals for Learning and Living) to a halt, Ald. Lenny Jacobson (D-6) held the matter out while options for keeping the facility open are reportedly being discussed in Springfield.

The residential day school and treatment center for at-risk youth is in danger of having to close its doors after allegations of sexual misconduct between a staff member and a resident arose in early June.

The MILL is capable of handling 40 residents. At the time of the allegations, DCFS was paying for the placement of 22 young people there. Those residents are now being placed elsewhere while DCFS investigates.

Representing The MILL’s most significant source of income, DCFS’s pullout could spell financial ruin for the non-profit agency. About half of The MILL’s staff has already been laid off.

Jacobson is urging DCFS not to turn its back on The MILL, instead suggesting an investigation be conducted without forcing the facility to close.

Revitilization of Neighborhood Network

During public participation at the June 25 Rockford City Council meeting, Lori Gustafson and Margie Veitch addressed the mayor and aldermen regarding the Neighborhood Network Association.

The network has been in decline for years until a grant was obtained through the Human Services Department that provided for the hiring of Gustafson as executive director. Gustafson also serves on the Fair Housing Board.

“Neighborhood Network is designed to be an association for neighborhood associations,” Gustafson explained, “designed to help the leadership of our neighborhood associations. There’s plenty of work to be done out there in the community.”

Veitch, who serves as president of the network, announced a June 28 kickoff party at Beattie Park playground from 6 to 8 p.m. Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) will be the keynote speaker.

“We are hoping to help facilitate some dialogue and enhance relationships,” Veitch said. “I truly believe that more and more citizens are recognizing the role that neighborhood organizations can play as we all come together and work to strengthen our neighborhoods. We can help to facilitate communication, reduce crime and ultimately maintain those desirable neighborhoods.”

Resolution approved

Aldermen passed a resolution to adopt a City-State agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for lighting and landscaping of Harrison Avenue between 20th Street and Mulford Road. Rockford’s estimated cost related to the project is $320,000.

Committee reports approved

Aldermen passed a committee report recommending $18,500 be awarded to low bidder Harn Construction, of Freeport, for trench drain repairs.

A report recommending the award for sale of Property Portion of Lot 1009 Kishwaukee St. to Rockford-based Joseph Behr & Sons, Inc., was approved in the amount of $19,000. Behr was the sole bidder.

Jacobson wants ATVs for cops

Responding to numerous complaints of property damage caused by unlawful off-road use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Ald. Lenny Jacobson (D-6) read in a resolution encouraging the Rockford Police Department to purchase at least two ATVs to meet the problem head-on. Jacobson also noted potential uses for ATVs in parking enforcement and parades. The resolution was referred to the Finance and Personnel Committee

Holiday garbage collection

Mayor Morrissey noted changes in the garbage collection schedule as a result of the July 4 holiday. Garbage will be collected as normal July 2 and 3. There will be no pick-up July 4, and garbage will be collected a day late for stops normally made Wednesday through Friday.


Ald. Ann Thompson-Kelly (D-7) was not present.

from the June 27-July 4, 2007, issue

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