Rockford reviews City Center design plans

The Rockford City Council met to discuss the exterior redesign plans of the Rockford City Center, to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of rescheduling city council meeting times and exchange important information regarding National Night Out, Rockford River Days and potential flood damage reimbursement.

ROCKFORD CITY CENTER

The council heard a presentation regarding the redesign of the Rockford City Center Mall.

The plan included stone entrances and framing around store front doors and the addition of decorative outdoor lighting. Space would be left above each store entrance for store brand logos and names. The possibility of adding awnings that hang over each entrance were also discussed. The plan includes the use of lots of natural-looking materials. The council had an opportunity to view samples of various materials used in the project to get a better understanding of colors and textures to be used on the exterior.

“I like all of the proposals,” Councilor Rick Martinson said. “I guess it just depends on what the facing over the top of the building is going to cost.”

Bids for the mall exterior project are underway for the base and alternate. A motion was made to move forward with the construction bids and the redesign is projected to be completed in the fall.

COUNCIL MEETING TIME

The council also reviewed the possibility of moving the council meeting time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“It’s been mentioned by a couple of different council members that perhaps 6 p.m. would be a better for the council, potentially staff and potentially the community, to make meetings,” said City Administrator Dan Madsen. “The lag between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. has caused some people on the council, as well as staff overtime or delays.”

Madsen added that this would only leave about an hour or so for workshops, HRA meetings and other meetings between the hours of the regular work day and the start time of the council meeting. The current city ordinance states the city of Rockford meets at 7 p.m. every second and fourth Tuesday, and an amended ordinance has been prepared with the time change.

“We have workshops that are always helpful in making other decisions, so as long as we can work around that issue I’m okay with that” said councilor Martinson.

“Sometimes I think we don’t allow enough time for those anyway, so maybe they could just be on a different night so there’s no time constraints,” suggested Councilor Jeannette Graner.

A motion was made to move the Rockford City Council meeting from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. every second and fourth Tuesday. It was unanimously approved.

OTHER

During staff reports, administrator Madsen reminded residents that Tuesday Aug. 5 is National Night Out.

“Fire Chief Ben Sanderson has asked that you e-mail him if you’re having a neighborhood get together so he can make sure the trucks stop by,” Madsen said.

Chief Sanderson is at rfdchief1@gmail.com.

Madsen also added that the city had its first meeting with FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to review city’s flood damage claims.

“We’ve estimated that we have $90-$95,000 in damage from the flooding early this year, but there have also been wash away an erosion issues, so we’re looking into getting some help cleaning those up and repairing those.”

The city will have a series of meetings with FEMA to inspect the sites and to review expenses, however, that’s all dependant on county damages. In order to qualify for these flood damage relief funds, the county as a whole must exceed nearly half a million dollars worth in damage.

Candidate filing begins July 29 through Aug. 12. If residents are interested in running for city council, stop at Rockford City Hall for an information packet.

Rockford River Days runs Aug. 8 through 10.

“We are tax exempt from River Days, which is a crucial thing because with that status, we can get funding from companies that are able to donate,” said councilor Martinson. “So, if you’re a company and would like to donate for a cause for the River Days celebration that’s not under the tax liability, this is your opportunity.”

Contact Megan Hopps at megan.hopps@ecm-inc.com

 

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