Rockford whittles council vacancy pool down to 2

After a vote, it was found that there was no clear consensus among the council on who should be appointed to fill a currently vacant seat.

Due to a family relocation, former council member Jeannette Graner resigned her seat, set to expire in December 2020. According to Minnesota Statute, council members must maintain residence in the communities he or she serves.

The resignation was accepted at the June 27 regular meeting, and the council agreed to put out an application to fill the end of her term. An interim councilor will fill the seat until the 2018 election, then a 2-year elected term will return it to the regular 4-year cycle.

Interested candidates attended the July 25 workshop where councilors could ask them questions about their qualifications.

Further interviews were to be conducted Tuesday, Aug. 1 with the final two council hopefuls, focusing more on what-if scenarios. Of the six-candidate pool, candidates were given a point-value based on current council member rankings. The top-scorers for the seat were Beth DeSantos and Scott Seymour. The meeting was in the council chambers and was open to the public.

The resolution to appoint a new council member must be approved by the Aug. 8 regular meeting.

Mall purchase

The council also approved a purchase agreement for sale of the Rockford City Center Mall. City staff was approached by Scott Soukup, a business partner of Mark Saliterman and Team Properties, Inc. a month ago with interested in purchasing the space for relocating his business.

While not a guarantee of sale, the purchase agreement comes as a welcome opportunity to the council. With the sale of the future Dollar General and the resulting money its TIF project will bring in, the added $1.2 million sale of the mall would provide a net neutral expense to the City of Rockford. Dollar General construction and opening will not be affected if this sale moves forward.

According to a council memorandum, the purchase agreement approved at the meeting is “fairly straightforward,” consisting of $200,000 in escrow, a 90-day due diligence period, standard disclosures and deliverables from the City, and standard fees, closing costs and tax apportionments.

Staff is currently in negotiations with Saliterman to find a fair price of the building without creating a burden on Rockford taxpayers.

In other news, the council

APPROVED the City of Rockford Water Supply Plan, Third Generation for 2016-2018, formerly called the Water Emergency & Water Conservation Plan.

APPROVED hire for Public Works part-time seasonal worker. Mayor Renee Hafften abstained from vote as the hire is her son.

APPROVED the resolution for the 2017 Rockford Fire Department roster.