Road Referendum Round Two

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Tuesday April 17th Rockford voters will decide if they want a one percent sales tax increase to fund road improvements. Here's a look at two roads that got passed over for repairs when a similar referendum failed last year.
It's a bumpy ride on Sandy Hollow road. Representatives from Rockford's public works department say this stretch from 11th to 20th streets is one of the worst patches of road in the city. It would have been repaired in 2006 had last year's road referendum not failed. Neighbors here say they don't want to see that happen again.
"As a homeowner here on Sandy Hollow, I would greatly recommend passing the one percent increase. This road is terrible right now. I can't even imagine what it will be like this time next year," says Pete Kiser.
"I want better roads and you know, it's not going to happen unless we make it happen," says Kiser's neighbor, Armando Maruffo.
But an area business owner doesn't want to see her customers' taxes go up. Even if it brings traffic down by her salon.
"I do feel like our road here does effect my business in a negative way. But I do feel we pay enough taxes and that they're just not managed right," says Trina McDermott, owner of Trina and Company Salon and Spa.
Different part of town, same story on Landstrom Road, between Forest Hills and Bradley. This stretch would have been at the top of the list for repairs this year, had there been enough money. Neighbors here say it's time to take care of our roads.
"People in town need to start, you know, shaping up and taking back control of their city and cleaning it up and you know it costs money to do that kind of thing," says Landstrom resident Pamela Ward.
The road referendum Rockford voters will see on Tuesday would give the city 16 million dollars, without it city leaders might have to make major budget cuts to do road repairs. The one percent sales tax increase would be reassessed after five years.


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