Ingersoll Project Remains on Hold, Aldermen Consider Finances

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The plan to transform the former Ingersoll building in downtown Rockford into a sports destination remains on hold, and has some wondering when it'll move forward.

Rockford city council members say they want to make sure the numbers are right before spending $12 million on the project. The overall budget is $21 million, that’s the equivalent of what is spent each year fixing Rockford roads and other capital improvement projects. The plan is to transform the Ingersoll building into a sports complex with basketball and volleyball courts for both local and regional sports tournaments. State and federal grants will cover $7 million and the city would take out loans to cover the remaining $12 million. Before that happens, aldermen say access to the building has to be improved. Water Street is a one way and tough to figure out even for locals, plus they want a better parking plan in place.

"It’s a great spot, I would love to see a city wide basketball tournament, a volleyball tourney, bring people together downtown,” says 2nd Ward Alderman Jamie Getchius. “We need to understand all of the costs, budget for them appropriately, and make sure we do it in a way that doesn't burden the tax payers of Rockford. If we have to wait until 2015 to do the project right, we'll wait to 2015 to the do the project right.”

Loan payments for the project would be about $800,000 a year for 25 years. Some aldermen have suggested asking the Rockford Park District or Winnebago County to chip in on that debt.

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