Garbage fee increase gets final nod
News and notes from the Oct. 26 Rockford City Council meeting
By Stuart R. Wahlin
In a 9-4 vote, the Rockford City Council gave final approval Oct. 26 to eliminate the city’s $3-per-household monthly subsidy for garbage collection. As a result, effective Jan. 1, 2010, residential garbage collection rates will increase from $11.20 to $14.20 per month.
By eliminating the subsidy, the city expects to be able to divert an estimated $1.8 million to public safety in 2010.
After an amendment by Ald. Venita Hervey (D-5) Oct. 13, the rate increase will expire Dec. 31, 2011, unless extended by the council. Aldermen Joe Sosnowski (R-1), Lenny Jacobson (D-6), Frank Beach (R-10) and Linda McNeely (D-13) voted “no.”
In other news, an ordinance to restructure the council’s Legislative & Lobbying Committee from six to five members was also approved. Per the new structure, Democrats and Republicans will alternate chairmanship and majority of the committee each year.
The council also approved supplemental appropriations for the remainder of its 2009 fiscal year.
Aldermen passed committee reports recommending:
• Approval of an amendment to the Springfield Corners redevelopment plan and project to include 50 acres as part of a planned $65 million mixed-use development on West State Street, between Pierpont and Springfield avenues. Spring Creek Development’s ambitious Renaissance Corners project has been broken into three phases at the city’s request, to limit risk to public dollars. The amendment will mark the start of the first phase, for which the city has committed $1.7 million in bonds for infrastructure to the site. The city has pledged $5,438,937 to the entire project, which lies within the Springfield Corners Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District. The measure still faces a final vote for approval as an ordinance.
• Fischer-Scientific, Inc., of Hanover Park, be awarded up to $22,244.83 for water laboratory equipment.
• Kale Uniforms, of Chicago, be awarded a $10,575 bid for 300 Fire Department safety vests, payable with grant funds.
• Fire Store, of Amboy, be awarded its $270,047.50 bid for Fire Department protective gear.
• J.E. Mark be awarded a $12,425 bid for demolition of 724 Corbin St.
• Stenstrom Excavation & Blacktop Group be awarded its $45,950 bid for concrete and drainage repairs related to the city’s Shopstead Program for business and neighborhood development.
υ Bids received for Human Services Department refrigerators be rejected, and that new bids be taken.
Retired Rockford police officer and former Winnebago County Board member Bruce Roberts continued urging the council to find the means to hire more police officers.
Roberts pointed to several shooting incidents in recent weeks as evidence crime is becoming more serious.
Additionally, Roberts said officers are responsible for handling 20 percent more calls than when he was on the force in 1988, but that there simply aren’t enough officers to meet the demand.
“The amount of calls, the volume and the serious nature has drastically changed since I was on the Police Department. It’s a different world out there,” Roberts pressed. “I know there are cuts that have been made, and things that are going on politically right now in town, but I would ask you, for the people of Rockford that are greatly concerned about crime, [do] whatever you have to do to put some more cops out on the street.”
Ald. Bill Robertson (I-14) was absent.
From the October 28-November 3, 2009 issue
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