MetroCentre upgrades near completion

News and notes from the Oct. 11 Winnebago County Board meeting

Centre Events General Manager Corey Pearson and Board of Directors Chairman Rita Pirrello-Epperson thanked the Winnebago County Board for its part in making renovations to the MetroCentre possible.

Pirrello-Epperson told board members, “It is only with your support, and the partnership you gave to us with the city in an unprecedented measure, for us to be able to continue.”

The county board pledged $250,000 for the first year and $460,000 for the next 19. The county’s share of the renovation, totaling nearly $9 million, comes from landfill tipping fees.

Board members were each presented with two VIP passes to the Nov. 2 opening night, as well as chunks of rubble from the demolition of part of the facility.

Pearson urged board members to take a tour of the MetroCentre.

“Bring shoes you can get dusty,” Pearson advised, “but it’s all starting to come together now, and we continue to have great things going our way.”

John Mellencamp, Brad Paisley, the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, and the Blue Man Group are among acts already slated for the coming year.

Rail Authority approved

Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) proudly announced House Bill 4 had passed the General Assembly, paving the way for Winnebago County to establish a rail authority. The Illinois House and Senate were successful in overriding a veto by Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

“That’s terrific,” Christiansen beamed. “That’ll get us off and running with an authority that’ll allow us to cross municipal lines and county lines to hopefully put this together.”

The chairman said work would begin on the new rail authority immediately.

Red Cross honors Christiansen

Dr. Robert Willis, chief executive director of the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter, recognized Christiansen for the unprecedented level of cooperation experienced during this summer’s flood disaster. Christiansen, in turn, thanked board members for making that possible.

Board vacancy declared

A vacancy was declared for the unexpired term of Patti Thayer (R-9), who stepped down Sept. 27.

Resolutions passed

Awarding bids for snow plowing equipment and operators; and

Authorizing allocation of general capital funds for painting, carpet replacement and telephone system for the Regional Office of Education.

Ordinances approved

Ordinances were passed, amending the employment classification and compensation plans for the following:

Add the position of Fire Dispatch Coordinator to the Winnebago County 911 Department; and

Add Assistant Permit Technician, Civil Engineering Technician and Civil Engineering Specialist positions to the Highway Department, while deleting the Engineering Technician Senior position.


George Anne Duckett (D-12) and Randy Olson (R-1) were not present.

from the Oct. 17-23, 2007, issue

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