Alderman Dan Conness says, "I'll make a motion to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement for improving the MetroCentre."
It's a the first big step for the City of Rockford. An Intergovernmental Agreement means that Rockford is committed to at least $23 million. The city is going to sell bonds to pay for their part. In turn, the money that will make sure the MetroCentre withstands the test of time. The Planning and Development Committee approved an Intergovernmental Agreement which is a pact between the City of Rockford, Winnebago County and the MetroCentre.
General Manager Corey Pearson states, "We continue to move on and I think we can stay within our timeline of when we wanted to accomplish everything."
Pearson is in the process of selecting a Construction Manager while continuing talks with the Rockford IceHogs. The two have been face to face twice with another discussion on Wednesday. Co-owner Dr. Kris Tumilowicz tells 23 News, "If we could get a lease for 5 or 5 plus years that's our first choice. But we're not naive, we know city and MetroCentre want to own a team." The push is on to lure the AHL Chicago Blackhawks to town. But right now there is no affiliation agreement.
Pearson says, "They're just watching. Right now anything related to the hockey side we're just kind of laying off. But they are, they are watching obviously what we're doing."
The rules were suspended at the Rockford City council meeting so the agreement could make it to the council floor. But once it was there the issue was quickly pushed to be laid over till after the holidays.