County MetroCentre Vote

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Rockford City Council gave its stamp of approval to funding for a Metrocentre makeover. Tonight the Winnebago County Board votes on its part of the bargain.
District 3 Board Member Gary Jury says a vote to revamp the MetroCentre is a vote to reinvest in our community and our future, that's an opportunity he doesn't want to pass up.
Minority Leader Tim Simms says he doesn't think the council has much choice in the matter. He says if the renovations don't take place and the building is allowed to fall into further disrepair, it will destablilize all of downtown, leading to urban blight and more crime. He said he expects the resolution to pass by as much as 22 to 3.
The resolution is basically an initial intergovernmental agreement showing the county's intent to move forward with the project.
For the next 20 years, they'll pay $460,000 a year on top of the city's $912,000 and about $400,000 from the MetroCentre. The county will pay for its portion through existing funds.
There are many more steps to go before the renovations are finalized and there is no discussion tonight on who will skate in the MetroCentre next year.
If a Chicago Blackhawks AHL farm team does not come to Rockford, the budget will need some tweaking.

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