Outstanding Rockford community members recognized by council

Rockford Mayor Renee Hafften, left, presents resident Kelly Grimm with a plaque recognizing her commitment to the community as 2013 Rockford Volunteer of the Year. (Sun staff photos by Linda Herkenhoff)

Rockford Mayor Renee Hafften, left, presents resident Kelly Grimm with a plaque recognizing her commitment to the community as 2013 Rockford Volunteer of the Year. (Sun staff photos by Linda Herkenhoff)

Mayor Hafften thanks Rockford resident Michael Billbe for jumping to action during a recent medical emergency in the city.

Mayor Hafften thanks Rockford resident Michael Billbe for jumping to action during a recent medical emergency in the city.

The Jim Thome Park in Rockford will have this sign at the entrance.

The Jim Thome Park in Rockford will have this sign at the entrance.

By Linda Herkenhoff

SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS

 

Rockford Mayor Renee Hafften got some quality handshaking in at the April 22 meeting of the Rockford City Council. The council recognized two of its residents for going above and beyond.

Kelly Grimm was nominated earlier this year for the city’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year and was unanimously selected at a March council meeting by members. Hafften presented Grimm with a plaque “In appreciation for your community spirit with the Rockford Area Schools, Rockford Area Historical Society, B-3 Business Program, the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce and many other volunteer activities.”

Also recognized was Michael Billbe who, Hafften told the council and those in attendance, took it upon himself to take extraordinary actions not everyone would be able to do during a medical emergency. She thanked Billbe for helping keep the community be a safe one. Billbe accepted, saying that he wasn’t about public appreciation, but felt accepting it may help promote awareness of how being equipped with CPR training can give anyone the ability to help out in unforeseen medical situations. His acceptance speech was cheered on by his son who high-fived Billbe in the middle of it and told him “Good job, Daddy.”

BIDS AND IMPROVEMENTS

The council voted to accept the low bid, prepared by KHC Construction, for Waste Water Treatment Plant improvements. A large portion of the work is in response to mandates by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and funding is being sought to help pay the costs. The base bid for this project, as awarded, is $1.16 million.

The city’s utility project, which includes sanitary sewer and water main replacements and repairs, was also awarded to the lowest bidder, Latour Construction Inc. The total adjusted base bid amount for these improvements is $2.71 million. Project notices will go out to affected residents with updates about details and impact. An assessment hearing will follow the repairs.

In other news, the Lions building — which will be demolished and replaced with a new sheltered picnic area with an attached kitchen and restrooms — is open for use through the city’s River Days Celebration in August. Details of the new structure are still being ironed out, but it won’t be available this summer. The council had originally intended to close the building in June.

Also, Jim Thome Park, dedicated last year along with the BankWest/Lamperts Field, is getting a sign. The Park and Recreation Committee recommended a wood and rock sign with the park’s name and the “Home of Rockford Youth Baseball,” and the council approved it 4-0.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, at Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.

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