$31M surplus revealed from 2022 Rockford city budget
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Officials weigh their options Monday on ways they can give back to the city of Rockford following a budget miscalculation.
Mayor Tom McNamara and his administration have thrown out a handful of ideas for where the funds should be spent, including the reconstruction of Auburn Street and a home repair program for low-income homeowners.
10th Ward city council member Frank Beach says there could be another use for the funds.
“They talked about building a new fire station, that makes sense, because we had no plans to do that. And I think it’s also okay to hold a little bit of that back for a rainy day. Once it’s spent, it’s gone, and because we have it doesn’t mean we have to spend it,” Beach said.
14th Ward council member Mark Bonne is on board with using the funds to bolster Rockford’s fire department.
“One of the expenditures, the small one, regards radio communication, the other regards building a new fire station,” Bonne said. “The city owns vacant space on East State Street that will be more efficient for response times and also not investing additional money to repair the station on Rural, which is really too small.”
Other surplus ideas include more Davis Park renovations and the replacement of water mains on Auburn Street.
One city council member says is a good problem to have, but some residents wonder how the city ended up with the extra cash?
“It was the result of budgeting during, really, still pandemic times. People went back to work rapidly and spent money more freely that we were anticipating,” said Bonne.
In total, the city now has more than $40 million in reserves.
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