Weldon Rd. resolution laid over

City staff to research west-side infrastructure needs

City council members laid over Ald. Victory Bell’s (D-5) resolution to establish Weldon Road as the city’s western boundary, during its Monday, March 20 meeting.

Ald. Ann Thompson (D-7) said, in a Tuesday morning interview, aldermen would consider a reworked resolution next week.

“We’re going to reword Ald. Bell’s proposal,” Thompson said. “We need to be in the position for planning 30 years out.”

Considering such long-range planning, the proposal will be revamped after city staff does some research. Thompson said city staff will examine what infrastructure is needed to sustain business development on Rockford’s west side.

She said encouraging development will help create jobs and lower the city’s unemployment rate. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site, Rockford’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent at the first of the year.

Thompson noted enacting the new proposal would help create a larger tax base, saying, “It’s very important that we do this.”

City Administrator Jim Ryan said, “We need to determine what utilities will be necessary for full city services” for the area.

Ryan added the city views Weldon Road as a planning boundary. He noted growth has taken place on the city’s northwest, southwest and east sides. According to Ryan, the revamped resolution would accomplish another goal, “We are certainly looking toward a balanced-growth community.”

In other business, aldermen approved a $22,500 legal settlement. Kerry Partridge, a city attorney, confirmed the settlement was approved and its amount, but said he couldn’t comment further.

“The case is still pending,” Partridge said.

Although the plaintiffs hadn’t signed off on the settlement, Partridge said he anticipated wrapping up the case within a couple of weeks. Repeated attempts to reach the plaintiffs’ attorney, T. Lee Boyd Jr. of Chicago, were unsuccessful.

from the March 22-28, 2006, issue

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