Memorial Opening Up to More People

There is only one more step to allow a greater number of organizations into a memorial hall. That’s the same building that local leaders were afraid would be at the center of a debate over immigrants’ rights last year.

Shortly after stateliners took to the streets of Rockford for immigrants’ rights last April, the Minute Men, a controversial border patrol group, looked for a place in town where they could meet. Memorial Hall was one of those places.

After initially agreeing, the county reneged and would not allow the minute men or any other group which they considered political to meet at Memorial Hall. If the new guidelines are adopted that would change.

"The use of it should be enjoyed by all regardless of what political affiliations you're with or what organization you're with,” said county board member Patti Thayer after voting yes to send the guidelines from committee to the full board.

The goal is to rent out Memorial Hall and make more money while still allowing veterans to use the hall for free.

“The auditorium holds 300 or some, so please call the county board and rent the place we’d love to have you,” said Memorial Hall trustee Eunice Bailey.

Though they are trying to loosen the regulations for who can rent, the renters’ responsibilities will go up. If the guidelines pass, renters would have to pay for security and insurance.

The full county board will vote on the new guidelines this Thursday.

New guidelines for who is allowed to rent out Memorial Hall are set to go to the full county board.