To the Editor: Parade route change not a wise move

  “A penny wise, but a pound foolish.”

  The proposed parade route change is indeed penny-wise, but certainly a pound foolish. Other than a heads-up from our alderman, the Midtown District was not consulted on the impact to our businesses and the community activities that we have worked hard to develop as part of our charitable activities.

  Moving the parade will have the short-term benefit of saving a few pennies for the city’s coffers, but offers no long-term solution to what ails our city’s balance sheet. Additionally, it has the unintended consequence of looking like administrative favoritism to the River District.

  We would agree that it is a hassle, which is the primary reason that the city doesn’t wish to block two state highway routes and tie up police that it is required by law to staff the barricade, but it is a part of the history and the renewing strength of the Midtown District that the unintended consequences of this potential change will damage.

  The Seventh Street, East State Street (City Hall) route is a Rockford tradition.

  The benefits of using this route include lots of parking at AMCORE, municipal and private parking lots and a much better staging area than the proposed alternative route. Additionally, it allows a better vantage point for families, especially those that also make the trip to our downtown to also visit their families that reside at Longwood, Faust and Valkommen residences.

  Since the city has decided to move $700,000 from this TIF district to an adjacent one to pay its debt obligations, this is one more strike against the intent of having a TIF district in the first place—to alleviate blight and renew all of our downtown TIF districts.

  We suggest that the administration and the city council keep the present route for the time being and look at other pound-foolish projects to ax.

                             Jim Phelps


                   Midtown District, Inc.

Editor’s note: City Hall agreed to change the parade route back to the original location.

From the March 24-30, 2010 issue

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