After weeks of debate, its official, a four million dollar bus transfer station is headed to Lyford Road, just north of East State in Rockford.
Tempers have flared throughout the transfer station debate and Monday night's Rockford City Council meeting was no different.
Alderman Joe Sosnowski, joined by neighboring business owners, has strongly objected to bringing the station to his ward under the proposed plan. He says the Rockford Mass Transit District, or RMTD, did not submit a complete application to construct the station because they did not include a landscaping plan. The council refused Sosnowski's request to allow a zoning expert to address the council on the application's legality.
Alderman Victory Bell accused Sosnowski of stalling the vote. Bell added that this breaks down to an East-side, West-side issue. He says East-siders should not be wary of letting in mass transit.
In the end, though, all parties say they're ready to move forward.
Says Alderman Sosnowski, "I fully support RMTD, but there has got to be consistency in our zoning practices. We can't allow some applicants some things and wave other requirements for others."
"We work for the city council and the mayor and we're gonna do, if they would have voted it down, we would go that way. But we're happy, the process takes a while and now we can close on it and start the process to actually get the four million dollars from the federal government and the state government," says Gary Marzorati, chairman of the board of trustees for the Rockford Mass Transit District.
Two nearby homeowners also attempted to file a legal objection to the station but missed the deadline. Marzorati says he will talk over their concerns with them.
The council's vote was 7-6, with Mayor Morrissey casting the tie-breaking vote.
Also Monday night, the council voted to bring a new Dollar Tree to Pershing Avenue and 11th Street. Plus a committee began discussion on the status of our storm water management system.