UPDATE: Amerock controversy continues as Rockford prepares for vote

UPDATED 3/20/2017

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- In tonight's vote Rockford's City Council has chosen to layover the vote on Amerock Hotel until next week. This is being done as amendments to the current language in the proposed plan are being changed. one includes Rockford only putting in $12.5 million to the original $13.1 million. the layover allows for council members to seek out more answers before voting as well as allows the city to coordinate with the developers Gorman & Company before voting for or against the hotel.

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POSTED 3/19/2017

ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- It has caused a lot of controversy since its original proposal in 2014 - the Amerock hotel project. Monday night, Rockford City Council is expected to vote on the project.

Alicia Neubauer and her husband own Ground Floor Skateboards down the street from the proposed Amerock Hotel and Convention Center. Neubauer and her husband believe a vote for the hotel is a vote towards success for everyone.

“Having a hotel in downtown Rockford that’s viable will increase pedestrian traffic, which then increases traffic to all of the local businesses, which then leads to better revenue to all of our businesses,” says Neubauer, who believes the endeavor will eventually pay for itself in benefits for the city.

The proposed 4-star Hotel is projected to bring 123 permanent jobs and 553 construction jobs during its estimated two-year construction.

“It’s gonna cause businesses here to thrive. It’s gonna cause their shops to grow, which means they’re gonna need more employees,” says Hotel support, Franky Fabre, who believes the growth may take time, but says he thinks people should be less concerned with long-term success as opposed to instant results.

The project will cost a total of $78 million and will be paid for most by the private contractor, Gorman & Company. Developers are asking for $13 million to be funded through bonds from taxpayers.

Seventh ward alderman, Ann Thompson-Kelly believes the future of the Amerock will result in a poor financial state for the city.

"We have to think 8 months down the road when we're looking to balance the budget and provide services to the community. And do we take a chance and go in debt more and jeopardize the core services that we need to provide?"

If passed, the Amerock Hotel is expected to be complete in 2019.



 
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