If you lay the proper below groundwork, the land above may be ripe for business and jobs. That's the plan at the 6600 acre Global Trade Park surrounding the Greater Rockford Airport, where on Tuesday; leaders announce a new sewer project, a project which should bring jobs, lots of jobs.
"We decided as the board of trustees and entire Rock River Water Recommendation senior staff to step forward, and say it's in the best interests of our community to start this project, and then look forth to help with the finances from other sources later," Rock River Water Reclamation District President Kent Logan said.
Rock River Water Reclamation District will fund the first of five phases for the Global Trade Park's sewer expansion, costing $3.1 million dollars. The group will look to local government agencies to assist with the additional costs. Right now, 500 acres are ready for development as efforts continue to get interested businesses looking locate here.
"We believe as we continue to be successful with air passenger and air cargo service that this is going to be the economic development area of Rockford and it's where people are going to want to be, and that means jobs," Greater Rockford Airport Chairman Mike Dunn said.
And with the Global Trade Park stretching east to Interstate 39, area leaders believe industry - ranging from airport operations to warehouse distribution - could soon touch down, thanks to this added infrastructure boost.
"It's absolutely critical. None of this area would be able to develop without the sewer. It's absolutely an essential part of the development phase and the important thing is this is just the start of it. This will go out and service all the way to Baxter Road and I-39 and we've had a lot of interest in that area," Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen said.