Rockford hires new city administrator

The Rockford City Council, at its Jan. 14 meeting, made some big strides forward on some relatively new business items.

NEW CITY ADMINISTRATOR

During the consent agenda, the council unanimously approved hiring Dan Madsen as the city’s administrator. Madsen, who is also an attorney, will take on the responsibilities of the city’s administrator and incorporate his legal expertise when applicable. The city’s attorney, Michael Couri, said that he knows Madsen and feels that he would be a good fit for the city.

Madsen currently works for the city of Medelia, Minn., population 2,308, as city administrator, special counsel, EDA director and wastewater director.

Madsen’s start date at Rockford is yet to be determined. Nancy Carswell has been the city administrator of Rockford for more than two decades and announced her impending retirement late last year.

ROCKFORD MALL

Couri presented to the council a purchase agreement for the Rockford Mall and surrounding property on the north side of Highway 55, just east of the city’s Industrial Park.

The council has been in talks with the property’s owners for months and finally came to an agreement. The purchase price of the mall is $1,575,000. Additional project costs of approximately $800,000 will be used to incorporate a 400-seat event center and a new, larger city hall and office area. It will retain existing tenants and maintain space for future rentals.

The council members combed through the document paragraph by paragraph to make sure that they understood the intent of each item and were comfortable with the protection and rights the afforded. There was, Couri explained, some back and forth between his office and the seller, but he said he was able to negotiate in the best interest of the city. Final inspections will be conducted by professionals prior to closing on the property, which may be as early as April.

A public hearing regarding the bonding for this project will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

VOLUNTEER DAY

Also at this meeting, the city heard from representatives of the Thousand Hearts Crow River Serve Day. Last year, several volunteers, professionals and businesses combined efforts in a day of volunteerism that accomplished many projects. The event will take place this year on Sunday, May 18. For more information, go to www.thousandhearts.weebly.com.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.

Contact Linda Herkenhoff at linda.herkenhoff@ecm-inc.com

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