ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It looks like third time's the charm for the Rockford city council. Aldermen finally passed the 2013 budget Monday night.
The spending plan has some major restrictions when it comes to the city’s geo-policing plan. Aldermen removed $300,000 from the police building maintenance fund so down the road, if the city wants to spend that money on a building for geo policing, aldermen have to say ok first. That was something the city already had to do before tonight but many on the council wanted to make sure they'd be kept in the loop about the progress of geo-policing.
Another major condition of this budget, city staff have to give aldermen a breakdown of how much geo-policing is going to cost if its run out of three buildings versus one building, plus the rehab cost of the current Public Safety Building. The analysis will also include what it will cost to have officers work a ten hour shift versus a twelve hour shift. The city administrator hopes to have all that information to the aldermen in about a month.
“When it’s all through and the money is spent, there still hasn’t been one more police officer hired. That’s a very important consideration when you’re looking at man power and resources to fund all three facilities. You have to think ahead when you're making these plans in order to understand what the cost would be and how you’re going to fund it,” says 11th Ward Aldermen Frank Beach.
Chief Chet Epperson says he hopes to provide aldermen information on the district two headquarters within the next two weeks, information like the location and cost of the lease.