Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Solar farm proposed in Rockford; mayor plans new task force

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – Aldermen on the Code & Regulation Committee on Monday night recommended approval of a 5.7-acre solar farm in south Rockford.

The farm would be sited in a mixed-use area near 11th Street and Samuelson Road. There Stella Solar, of Denver, wants to open a 1.2-megawatt farm comprising 3,042 panels. The facility would provide enough power for almost 400 home for an entire year.

The proposal will be up for a vote by the full City Council in two weeks.

In other business, aldermen city staff thanked volunteers who helped apply decorative board-up panels at Willows on Main, a vacant eyesore on the northwest side for several years. The group performed general cleanup and installed the boards earlier this month. The decorative board-up program was launched this summer with the help of Rockford’s YouthBuild chapter and Chicago’s Neighborhood Foundation. It uses protective plastic-based boards, painted to give an appearance of an occupied property. The material is expected to last between three and five years, opposed to traditional plywood that must be replaced every six months to a year at the city’s expense.

Mayor Tom McNamara announced plans to form a task force to study and present practices in re-development of existing buildings. Aldermen recommended that the task force be headed by Tim Durkee, R-1; and Joe Chiarelli, R-14. The mayor said the task force’s goal’s aim is to streamline regulations while protecting the safety of the public.

The Rockford Police Department announced Monday that there will increased patrols at local high school football games following last Friday’s gun incident during Auburn’s game against Freeport. The contest was called after shots rang out at about 9:30 p.m. near the Auburn stadium

Police say the shots were exchanged between two vehicles and were not related to the game.

The extra patrols will be during games played at Auburn, Jefferson and Swanson Stadium, the field at Guilford High School shared by the Vikings and East E-Rabs.

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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