For the past 2 years, despite needing them, very few Rockford roads have seen improvements. But city leaders are not giving up. There are three options on the table and one will need our vote. Right now Rockford city aldermen are looking for a little direction. In a few weeks the Rockford City Council is going to have to decide how road improvements will be funded. At a committee level there are three choices, a 1-cent Sales Tax, 3/4 % Sales Tax or a property tax based Road Referendum.
City of Rockford Traffic Engineer Steve Ernst states, "It truly is a road referendum no matter what form it takes. And that's what all the money is geared for."
Last spring a one cent sales tax failed so that means the city has gone almost two years without road repairs. Only projects with matching state dollars have proceeded with caution. That's why it's very important that the second time around the city has your support. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says, "If we put something like a one cent with a 5-year sunset provision that deals with the trust questions that have come up in the past. I think we want to get a broad base coalition of supporters."
But at this time even certain aldermen are hesitant. Rockford Alderman Jeff Holt tells 23 News, "I'm not supportive of the 1% Sales Tax. Not that we couldn't use the money but the voters told us that they would not support that."
Wednesday, January 10th many of the aldermen and the city's Public Works department are going to address this issue again during a special meeting. Aldermen will ultimately be the deciding factor regarding what you will see on the spring ballot. In order to get on the ballot, a decision needs to be made by the first week of February.