Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Winnebago County Board approves Rockton asphalt plant

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – The Winnebago County Board, on Thursday, voted 10-9 in favor of an asphalt plant in Rockton.

The vote gives the green light for Northern Illinois Service Co. to build the plant inside Black’s Quarry, 11200 N. Main St., Rockton Township.

The County Board Room was at capacity Thursday, seats filled by township residents who’ve spoken against the plant for two years. Opponents say the operation will come with a decrease in property values and health concerns. Some also say the board failed to consider the wishes of the community.

“I am extremely angry that they would push this through on the neighbors,” Rockton resident Barb Gustin, who lives next to Black’s, told reporters after the vote.

Proponents say the operation will allow road materials to be stored locally, which will lower construction costs.

District 7 Republican Gary Jury said he voted for the project because it will spark the local economy.

“We need jobs in this community,” Jury said before the vote.

Jury added that he lived near an asphalt plant all of his live and never noticed an adverse smell or experienced health problems in his family because of it.

Board members who represent the northern part of the county, including  District 2 Republican and Rockton resident Jim Webster, voted against the measure. Webster was joined by David Boomer, R-4; and Steve Schultz, R-3. R.

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