Oct. 16 Rockford City Council meeting briefs

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116118831915554.jpg’, ‘Photo by Stuart R. Wahlin’, ‘Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (left) confers with Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey before the Oct. 16 city council meeting.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11611883575454.jpg’, ‘Photo by Stuart R. Wahlin’, ‘Municipal workers wait for a contract with the city.’);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116118841015554.jpg’, ‘Photo by Stuart R. Wahlin’, ‘Developer Oliver Emerson awaits the fate of his proposed dollar store.’);

Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen presented a $1 million check to Rockford from the county for road funds at the new Lowe’s Distribution Center.

“We were putting the Lowe’s deal together, and we came up short with a gap in the improvements to finish out Springfield Avenue,” City Legal Director Patrick Hayes said. “We needed to complete the four lane from Main Street to just west of the Lowe’s location. We came up with an intergovernmental agreement to give the road to the county as a circulator highway. The county participated with their highway funds and enterprise zone. It was a celebration about an unprecedented amount of intergovernmental cooperation going on, and we’ll expand on that in the future.”

Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) announced Halloween trick-or-treat hours will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Oct. 31.

The mayor announced fall leaf collection will take place on normal garbage collection days. Citizens are reminded the leaves must be either in 40-gallon, biodegradable, two-ply paper bags or in garbage cans marked with an “X” facing the street.

It was announced the Rockford Fire Department will be flushing hydrants Oct. 16 to Nov. 3. Some water may be discolored as a result, but does not pose a health threat. The two areas affected are from the Rock River to Rural Street to 20th Street to Harrison Avenue; and from North Central Avenue to Auburn Street to the Rock River to West State Street.

The mayor gave an update on the Labor Day flooding, saying there is a clear need to address problems with Keith Creek.

The council approved an agreement to give eligible city and county employees incentives to buy homes in the downtown area. The county board approved its plan Oct. 12, making the program a city/county collaboration.

In a 7-6 vote, a proposed amendment that would pave the way for a Family Dollar on North Main Street failed to draw enough support. Because of legal objections, a super-majority of at least 10 votes was required to approve the zoning change.

The council approved a five-year 50 percent sales tax rebate for a seven-unit strip mall, developed by The Buckley Companies, at Owen Center, Christopher Drive and West Riverside Boulevard.

A vote on an intergovernmental agreement between the Rockford Police Department and School District 205 was laid over. The county board approved $25,000 for the hiring of a truancy officer at its Oct. 12 meeting.

Police, Fire and Public Works employees, who are still without a contract, picketed outside City Hall before the council meeting. The council agreed to hire an arbitrator.

From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue

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