Rockford Council discusses Riverside Park building improvements, considers DNR grant

The Lions building and picnic shelter are a staple of the park and used for Rockford River Days and other outdoor events at Riverside Park. Due to the poor condition of the building, it’s scheduled to be taken down this summer and replaces by a modified version that includes a larger kitchen and new picnic area.

The Lions building and picnic shelter are a staple of the park and used for Rockford River Days and other outdoor events at Riverside Park. Due to the poor condition of the building, it’s scheduled to be taken down this summer and replaces by a modified version that includes a larger kitchen and new picnic area.

The Rockford City Council discussed a number of topics at its March 11 meeting including a park structure, sanitary sewer project progress, fog seal coating and flood predictions.

RIVERSIDE PARK

City Administrator Nancy Carswell brought information regarding a grant application for improvements at Riverside Park to the council. The grant, a DNR Recreational Grant, would cover up to 50 percent of the project if approved.

The city is planning to demolish the Lions building in Riverside Park, as well as the attached picnic shelter, and plans to construct a new kitchen, and restrooms and covered picnic area.

“We’ve been lucky in the past,” Carswell said of the DRN Grant process, “and out project meets all the criteria.”

There are still some details remaining to iron out, and there was some council discussion regarding the size of the enclosed structure and how the flood plain status affects it.

The new kitchen, however, will be approximately twice the size of the existing one, but will not include an indoor meeting area. The council also discussed the possibility of having some kind of “pull down” sides for when the weather conditions warrant use.

There are time constraints on the application process, it’s due March 31, and Carswell said that she would bring it back to the council for review its March 25 meeting.

MAPLEWOOD SANTITARY SEWER UPDATE

Dan Madsen, incoming Rockford City Administrator, explained an agreement he wrote for property owners in the Maplewood Manor area with properties in the scope of the Sanitary Sewer Service Project scheduled to begin shortly. Property owners, by signing the agreement, are requesting that the city fund and conducts the repairs, and that it can assess the cost to the property at an interest rate of 5 percent, and for a period of 5, 7 or 10 years.

The agreement also addresses the possibility of having to go above the quoted amount (which is considered “worse case scenario” for most properties) in the event there is an unforeseen complication that requires additional work.

Neighborhood meetings for affected residents are scheduled for March 20 and 31.

FOG SEAL COAT

Rockford Streets Supervisor John Quirk presented the 2014 proposed Fog Seal Coat project to the council. A better product, at $2 a square yard should hold up better and push out reapplication.

“We can push this out to seven to ten years, instead of every three to five,” he said.

The plan for this year is to fog seal coat 59,371 square yards. The estimated cost for roads is $100,742 and $26,824 for city parking lots. Quirk told the council, and Carswell confirmed, that there were funds to cover the project in the city’s 401 CIP (Capital Improvement Plan).

The city’s engineer, Jared Ward, told the council that it was not uncommon for a city of Rockford’s size to fog seal coat 70,000 to 100,000 in a year, since streets age differently.

The council approved the project.

The Crow River is still frozen and snow topped off Main St. in Rockford. The current prediction for the river’s impending thaw is a minimal chance of minor flooding. (Sun staff photo by Linda Herkenhoff)

The Crow River is still frozen and snow topped off Main St. in Rockford. The current prediction for the river’s impending thaw is a minimal chance of minor flooding. (Sun staff photo by Linda Herkenhoff)

FLOOD PREDICTIONS

Public Works Supervisor Dennis Peterson told the council the he is now getting weekly updates on flood predictions, and is forwarding them to council members so they can answer resident’s questions. As conditions get closer to a thaw, he will receive more frequent information, with daily reports at some point.

As it sits right now, Peterson said the projection for the Crow River in Rockford is a “minimal chance of minor flooding.”

But, he cautioned, there is a disclaimer that the unknown future amounts of snow and rain, the fluctuation of temperatures and “river ice” can all alter the projection. The weather projected at the time of the council meeting, Peterson said, was perfect for thawing conditions with temperatures in the forties in the day, and below freezing at night.

Something else that was favorable to the current conditions, Peterson added, was that what’s on the ground is a “dry” snow, the river was low going into winter and the ground was not overly saturated before freezing.

And yet, a streak of sixties could cause things to change. The city is in good shape as far as the equipment it would need in the event of flooding issues. The best the city can do right now, Peterson told the council, is to keep informed.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Council, 6031 Main St.

 

 

 

 

 

up arrow