Aldermen agree to demo 29 homes; Stroll on State slated for Nov. 25

By Jim Hagerty

CITY HALL — The City of Rockford will spend more than $200,000 to demolish 29 vacant blighted homes, aldermen decided Tuesday.

The contracts for the demolition were awarded to Northern Illinois Services, of Rockford, and JIMAX Corporation, of Peoria, in the amount of $206,445.

If all the proposed properties are razed, it will bring the total to 99, one shy of the city’s goal to take down 100 blighted homes in 2017. Funding will come from community block grants and the Rockford’s Blight Reduction program.

Properties selected for demolition are given a score in several areas to determine their level of deficiency.

“At the end, you take that final score and plug it into our system with all the other blighted structures and calls for service,” Mayor Tom McNamara said of the system.

Private owners of properties on the list can object to demolition and save their properties by bringing them back within safety standards.

• The date for the 2017 Stroll on State downtown holiday festival was also on Tuesday’s agenda. The vote was unanimous to hold the event from 1-9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 25.

“Five years ago, [at the first Stroll on State], we had no idea what was going to happen,” Tana Vettore, of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “We started just to decorate for the holidays. But very quickly, we saw that it was an opportunity to celebrate the holidays—kick off the season to establish traditions for families and friends to come together in the core our city. We had no idea it would be 75,000 people in four years.”

In only its second year, Stroll on State was named the best event in the state, grabbing the Illinois Bureau of Tourism’s annual Best in Show award.

• In other city business, the council agreed to pay HC Anderson Roofing, of Rockton, $91,820 to replace the roof on the Coronado Theatre. The project will be done as the theater celebrates its 90th year. The roof being replaced was installed in 2001 when the Coronado underwent a $18 million overhaul to bring it back to its 1920s glory.

William Charles Construction, of Loves Park, was marked for $1.62 million in citywide road repairs Tuesday, while aldermen approved $80,000 to Complete Asphalt Service Company, of downstate Pittsfield, for citywide crack sealing.

Another bid in the amount of $3.27 million was awarded Vissering Construction. The Streator, Illinois, firm will build an addition to a well at the Water Treatment Plant. The project will be funded by the city’s Water Replacement Improvement Account.

Aldermen laid over several appointments to various boards. Future appointments to the Rockford Public Library Board, Police and Fire Commission, Rockford Mass Transit District, and the Traffic Commission are expected at a future meeting.

The full City Council meets on the first and third Monday of every month. Committee meetings are the second and fourth Monday. R.

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