Storm ignites intergovernmental dispute

The violent weather that devastated the area on July 5 also sparked a dispute about storm debris removal between the City of Rockford and Rockford Township. Both governmental bodies said the other was responsible for the debris—while residents just wanted the tree limbs and logs removed.

City officials denied they were obligated to remove the debris from the city’s right-of-way property along Daisyfield Road. Rockford Township workers eventually removed the debris Aug. 13, after residents complained for weeks to both the city and township.

Citizens along the city-owned west-side road near Ingersoll golf course live in the township. However, the city’s right-of-way property extends about 17 feet beyond the edge of the road—where both municipalities instructed residents to place their storm debris.

Sources said Daisyfield Road was reconstructed in the late 1990s by the city in preparation for golfer Tiger Woods’ Rockford appearance. Before that time,

Daisyfield Road was a township street. The dispute raises questions concerning intergovernmental communication and who should pay for the debris removal.

Pat Eddy, who lives at 204 Daisyfield Rd., said she was very unhappy with how she was treated by Rockford Mayor Doug Scott (D) when she asked the city to remove the tree remnants. Eddy said the city should have removed the debris. Eddy wants to return responsibility for the road back to the township because, she asserts, residents will get better road service, such as snow removal.

John Strandin, Scott’s communications director, was asked why the city didn’t remove the debris. Strandin said: “The street is ours but the people who live on

the street aren’t in the city.” If Daisyfield

residents lived in the city, Rockford Public Works employees would have disposed of the debris, Strandin said.

Instead, Rockford Township Highway Commissioner and Winnebago County board member Pete MacKay (R-5) said he

instructed township workers to clear the debris Aug. 13 “because it was the right thing to do.” MacKay ordered the removal after city officials refused to remove the debris.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!