Road projects on hold because of failed sales tax hike

The consequences of the sales tax referendum failure became reality during a March 27 Rockford City Council Finance and Personnel Committee meeting. Three road projects were struck from the meeting’s agenda.

“The (sales tax) vote was a pretty big blow to our road projects,” Ald. Nancy Johnson (D-8), committee chairman, said.

Johnson said the sales tax proposal failed because the city failed to communicate its message. “We didn’t help people understand just exactly what they were voting for,” she said.

But Johnson acknowledged the city sales tax had many active opponents. “We didn’t have the funds to respond to that,” she said.

Resolutions to improve Illinois Route 70, from Meridian Road to Summerdale Avenue; repairing Harrison Avenue, from 20th Street to Mulford Road; and East State Street, from Fairview Boulevard to Alpine Road, were laid over until next week.

“It’s going to be a very scaled-back public works project year,” Ald. Joe Sosnowski (R-1), a committee member, said.

Sosnowski said the Harrison Avenue project is one people would really like to see move forward. But he said many neighborhood roads are going to suffer. Johnson also stressed Harrison Avenue should remain a priority.

Johnson said the Auburn Street project will be completed, since money had been dedicated to it in 2004. Johnson said she didn’t believe the usual wards would have any projects.

The committee also renewed a .02 percent tax levy for Rockford Public Library. That levy accounts for 2 cents of the library’s 37-cent tax rate. Aldermen approved the levy during the Council meeting.

From the March 29-April 4, 2006, issue

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