County Board News: Board trumps city in commerical land approval, Forest Preserve Board now official
By Jim Hagerty
The Winnebago County Board cited positive economic potential owners of a 10-acre plot of land wish to develop on North Main Street, when it approved the project Thursday, Dec. 9, in spite of Rockford City Council objections.
Business owners David Peterson and Anthony Seminerio plan to open a landscaping and nursery business on the land, which is located within the City Council’s jurisdiction. The city rejected the proposal because the plot would not be annexed to city water and sewer.
County board officials, however, said possible tax revenues from the site are too significant to overlook.
“If he has 10 acres of trees and shrubs he’s selling there, there’d be thousands of dollars worth of (sales taxes) coming in,” Jim Webster, Zoning Committee chairman, said.
Peterson and Seminerio plan to begin construction this spring.
Winnebago County Forest Preserve Board now official
For the first time since splitting from the Winnebago County Board, the Winnebago County Forest Preserve Board held a meeting of its own Thursday, Dec. 9 at the district’s headquarters.
After Circuit Judge Brian Shore administered an oath of office and swore-in commissioners, the board became official.
The board approved a contract with the county to oversee its payroll and human resources. The contract will cost the Forest Preserve District approximately $55,000 per year.
A contract with Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, estimated at $295,000, was put on hold.
“For the first 90 days, we’re probably not going to take anything major on,” Forest Preserve Board President Randy Olson said.
A 2008 referendum split the Forest Preserve Board from the Winnebago County Board.
The Forest Preserve Board is composed of President Randy Olson, Vice President Mary McNamara Bernsten, Secretary Gloria Lind, Treasurer Judy Barnard and commissioners Audry Johnson, Cheryl Maggio and Jasper “Jay” Ferraro. Each board member was elected by voters this fall.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. The Winnebago County Forest Preserve headquarters is at 5500 Northrock Drive, Rockford.
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