ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We're now nearing the final phase to widen the creek. Before that happens, city leaders heard residents opinions about what to do with three acres of future green space including an urban garden.
"I think a lot of people - you see our city market is growing and doing a lot of that kind of thing. I think we could do something for our kids. There's room for that too," one resident said.
Nearly 40 people came to the Keith Creek Neighborhood Association meeting. City leaders and State Senator Dave Syverson also were on hand to answer questions from the group.
Residents named off a list of amenities they want for their green space like a playground, bike path, and more lighting. The city suggests an urban garden so it can provide food to local restaurants to help sustain the area.
Keith Creek saw major flooding during two different summers a few years ago. In order to repair all the damage, the city began the Keith Creek Mitigation Project that includes three phases. We’re now in the second phase where homes are being demolished. There are about 50 waiting to come down. City leaders say they are waiting on more state and federal funding to come through to pay for it.
At the meeting Thursday night, many residents still bring up questions about when the creek will be widened. That’s the final phase of the project. They fear another flood.
"Every time it rains. Like my wife, she goes around, she's always watching it from the street. I have a basement that I can't use because if the water raises, it goes into my basement."
We’re told it will cost $14 million to widen the creek. City leaders say funding could be released any day now to fund that last phase of the project.
Engineers have not worked out all the details on how exactly the creek will be widened. That plan has to be approved by the state and Army Corp of engineers.