The April 23 meeting of the Rockford City Council opened on a proud moment, and to a packed house, as Rebecca Mavencamp was named the city’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year.
Mavencamp is the Director of the Rockford Area Historical Society, and has been instrumental in preserving, recording and publicizing artifacts and correspondence from the deceased Stork family members that once resided in the Ames-Florida-Stork House (a homestead and city landmark built it the mid 1800’s), as well as gaining support and grant dollars to maintain the home. Mavencamp received several nominations and was also cited for creating mentor programs for Rockford High School students and for her participation in city events and programs including Crow River Christmas, Easter and Memorial Day events, the city’s garden club, Rockford River Days, National Night Out and summer teen nights.
Mavencamp’s visit to the meeting was two fold. She also presented information to the council on a report prepared by QSE (an engineering firm) regarding the HVAC system in the house. It was discovered that some electrical work and a replacement furnace would also be needed bringing estimated improvement costs for all work, and professional consulting services, in at $97,300. Mavencamp, in her report, relayed 5 possible funding options that explore various grant amounts the project may be able to benefit from including Legacy Funds and a Capitol State Aid Grant.
The council did not take action on this item, and will continue discussions as more information becomes available.
The council did, following discussion at previous meetings and workshop, unanimously approve an 8% increase in water and sewer rates.
An improvement project to replace water mains that are several decades old, and which have become increasingly susceptible to breaks that require costly and inconvenient repairs, will go forward to coincide with street/pavement repairs.
Council and staff have discussed the prospect of licensing business within the city with the intent of keeping abreast of when new businesses open and making sure they are in compliance with zoning.
She told the council that she’d researched what other communities are doing, and most do not license all businesses. Instead of changing city code, she suggested a letter go out to all commercial businesses in the city requesting that they notify businesses they may lease space with to register at the Rockford City Hall. Registration information would include the name of the business, and explanation of the business, hours of operation and owner’s name and contact information.
City staff would add them to the business directory and refer their information to the Chamber of Commerce. Permitted use of property would also be communicated to the landowner.
Dates to note include City Wide Clean Up Day, May 4; Thousand Hearts Crow River Serve Day, May 5; hydrant flushing early May 7.
Closing on a somber note, Councilor Rick Martinson reported that 26-year old Sam Gustafson, of Rockford, had been missing since early April 21, and that the public was being asked to come forward with any information it had regarding his whereabouts. Dennis Peterson, Rockford Public Works Supervisor, said that both the Hennepin and Wright County Sheriff’s Departments were involved in the search.
At the time of publication, no further information has been released.
The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.