Local Leaders Rally for Capital Plan

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

260-million dollars are slated for infrastructure projects in the Rockford area. And today the Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity rallied with local leaders to urge the House to approve the capitol plan.

"The capitol plan will put a lot of our builders to work and not only do we have members working but it's a great economic impact to the area," says Rockford Alderman Dan Conness, who is also Executive Director of Northwest Illinois Building Trades.

Nearly three-hundred thousand high-paying jobs are expected to emerge once a capitol plan is approved. Projects such as widening West State and main streets will offer more job opportunities and the infrastructure to attract more businesses to the Stateline area.

"If we're gonna remain competitive in a world marketplace to improve our infrastructure and that improves road rail bridges and many of the building," says Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.

Legislatures are relying on gaming expansion to pay for the plan. But not everyone sees lucky sevens.

"I'm certainly on board with it if in fact it's with in the guidelines we hope it is. That we could afford it. That we aren't borrowing from Peter to pay Paul," says Representative Chuck Jefferson.

Lawmakers say the state will make 1.6 billion dollars on upfront gambling license fees. That money will go towards payments on the ten billion dollar bond. And the big money will start rolling in once the casinos are up and running within the next few years.

The capital plan also includes 40-million dollars to fund a new Arts Instructional Center at Rock Valley College. Plus the Rockford School District could also get a 50-thousand dollar maintenance grant. And four million dollars are allotted for renovations to the Metrocentre.

Here's a list of other Stateline infrastructure projects funded by the capital plan...
38-million dollars for improvements to Bypass 20 from Business 20 west to Route 26. 116-million dollars for widening and resurfacing nearly nine miles of Rockford roads. And 66-million for a new intersection, new lanes and land-acquisition for Route 173 from 251 to the Boone County Line.


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