Mayor Scott praises grants, makes proposals

Mayor Scott praises grants, makes proposals

By Frank Schier

By Frank Schier

Editor & Publisher

In one of his first speaking engagements as Rockford’s mayor, Doug Scott praised the efforts of neighborhood organizations who were awarded grants by the Rockford Community Foundation, and offered some new proposals.

The awards dinner held last Thursday night at the City Club was attended by 125 neighborhood activists and representatives.

Since 1995, the Rockford Community Foundation has awarded $212,282 in 90 neighborhood improvement grants to 70 organizations. This year, 18 groups garnered $29,867 for their projects, which range from public boat docks to studying uses for Garrison School. The city provided $10,500 of the total grant money for this year. An updated list of neighborhood organizations was presented, as was an extensive computer training program for neighborhood groups. Beth Parentice from the Abilities Center will supervise the computer training. Call 965-7777 for information.

A new $100 to $500 grant program was also announced by the Rockford Community Foundation. Call 962-2110 for information.

Scott said, “When I was with the city [as city attorney], the first group like the Council of Neighborhood Organizations went out of existence.” He went on to praise the new projects that were receiving grants, adding, “Proactive projects that will help the neighbors are what we want to get behind.”

Scott went on to stress the impact of neighbors talking to property owners that need work. “If a neighbor comes to the door and if a housing inspector comes to the door, you have two separate kinds of reaction.” Scott pledged city government will continue to back neighborhood groups.

New proposals

Scott also made several new proposals concerning abandoned houses, including having not-for-profit groups taking over the building and rehabbing it. The owner could then pay the costs and management fees with interest to the group. If not, the group would attain the title. Scott promised legal assistance and rehab money.

He also wants to have one phone number to call at City Hall that will get you to the right person, without waiting for one or two weeks for a reply or follow-up.

Redesigning the city’s gateways on North and South Main, Kishwaukee and West State is also on his agenda.

Scott said the good work at the city’s Community Development Dept. must continue.

Since the multilingual population is on the rise, Scott also said he plans to publish city programs in other languages, as well as post them on a website.

Scott said he wants to promote our assets to accent the positive in the community, and he said he is open to more proposals.

Praise was also given to Barbara Nelson as the senior program officer for the grants. Serving on the Neighborhood Grants Committee are Terri Hall, Judy Shields, Dwayne Collins, Barb Baptista, Sue Patrick, Judy Barnard, Ellen Bueschel, Pat Gomez, Barb Larson, Maryjane Seward, Steve Stringer and Chair Sandra Locke.

The 2001 Neighborhood Grants are:

61104 Unity – Neighborhood residents will develop a park-like setting at the corner of 15th Avenue and Kishwaukee Street. Grant amount: $2,000.00

Collier Gardens Resident Council – Collier Gardens residents will build an outdoor gazebo to provide an informal setting for social interaction, and a park-like atmosphere at this Winnebago County senior citizen subsidized housing community. Grant amount: $1,500.00

Concerned Citizens for a Better West Side – Residents are erecting a sign in the

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vacant lot at W. State and Avon to welcome people to the greater neighborhoods of west Rockford. Grant amount: $410.00

Council of Neighborhood Organizations – CNO is developing a neighborhood newsletter and “Get to Know the CNO” event to communicate and increase participation in the CNO. Grant amount: $2,880.00

Crusader Clinic – Beautify West State Street with the creation of “Muldoon Grove” garden on Crusader property. Grant amount: $2,000.00

Cunningham Street Block Club – To communicate with their diverse neighborhood, Cunningham Street Block Club is developing a newsletter in English, Italian and Spanish. Grant amount: $250.00

Edgewater Neighborhood Association – To strengthen neighborhood identity, Edgewater Neighborhood Association will update their welcome signs. Grant amount: $1,900.00

Emmanuel Neighborhood Association – To create beauty and pride in the neighborhood, Emmanuel Neighborhood Association will develop a neighborhood garden in a vacant lot on 2nd Avenue. Grant amount: $1,000.00

The Friends House Block Club – To increase neighborhood participation, Friends House Block Club will honor community volunteers at a Recognition Dinner in September. Grant amount: $$1,000.00

Highland Neighborhood Association – To encourage people to buy homes in the Highland neighborhood, the Highland Neighborhood Association would like to have four signs erected in their neighborhood. Grant amount: $2,400.00

La Voz Latina – Hispanic neighbors will translate Neighborhood Handbook into Spanish to provide resources to the Hispanic neighborhoods. Grant amount: $1,082.00

Natural Land Institute – Provide a lecture, walking tour and workshops for residents of historic neighborhoods to educate them about historic landscapes and how to incorporate historic landscape design and plants into private gardens. Grant amount: $2,000.00

North End Commons Business Association – Four neighborhood organizations and North End Commons will bring people to their neighborhoods from other parts of the city through the Camp Fuller Festival. Grant amount: $2,000.00

Park Village Neighborhood Watch and Block Club – To develop intergenerational relationships, Park Village Neighborhood will hold a neighborhood picnic, have activities for the senior residents and beautify the neighborhood. Grant amount: $1,145.00

River District – To enhance the use of the river by having Water Taxis to shuttle people to events, restaurants, etc. on the Riverfront. Grant amount: $1,500.00. This is a $30,000.00 project. To make your contribution, call Kim Wheeler at 964-6221.

River District – Two 10-slip boat docks at Mulberry Street and Millennium Fountain to provide docking for warm-weather events and alternative transportation in the downtown area. Grant amount: $1,500.00. This is a $60,000.00 project. To make your tax-deductible contributions, call Kim Wheeler at 964-6221.

River District – To reflect the “City of Gardens” image and enhance the ambiance of the River District by sponsoring a downtown Roof Top Garden Conference this summer. Grant amount: $500.00. The conference is tentatively scheduled for June 16. Please call Bill Beard at 964-5217 to volunteer or make a donation.

Signal Hill Neighborhood Association – In a collaborative initiative with four neighborhood associations, Signal Hill Neighborhood will conduct Traffic Study/Intersection Design at North Main & Auburn. Grant amount: $2,500.00

Signal Hill Neighborhood Association – The Signal Hill Neighborhood will do a feasibility study of reuses of Garrison School. Grant amount: $1,000.00

St. Paul Urban Ministries – Neighborhood residents will come together to clean up the Kilburn/Rockton Ave. area and maintain Acorn Park. Grant amount: $550.00

Veranda Lifestyles of Southeast Rockford – This new organization will develop a newsletter, have social gatherings for neighbors and business owners. Grant amount: $750.00

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