Rockford Public Library Open to Input on Future Plans

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Public Library would like to know if we want to see its downtown location stay or move somewhere else as they continue negotiations with ComEd.

Negotiations between the library and ComEd have been going on for the last year and while there's no rush, Executive Director Lynn Stainbrook can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"There's no immediate problem so it could be put off for years," said Stainbrook. "Fortunately, ComEd's not planning to do that. They want to take care of it now so that's one of the good things. If at all possible, they would like to take care of it now."

The discussion is currently at "who will pay for what?" The soil underneath the building was contaminated by Rockford Gas, Light and Coke, which is now owned by ComEd, making them responsible for the clean-up.

"They truly care about the community and they're really trying to do their best," Stainbrook said. "I think we're going to come out with a wonderful agreement that will be beneficial to our entire community."

On Tuesday, the library's staff and architects will present their plan and will also take public comments.

"Now's the right time," said Stainbrook. "We don't have an agreement set in stone, but this is a good time to hear from people about whether or not they validate the plan as we move forward."

While the two sides may be towards the end of negotiations, Stainbrook believes it could take another year.

If you would like to give your input, the library will be hosting a discussion on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the theater of the Nordloff Center.

Last month, the library board approved a purchase of the building next door to make room for the clean-up.

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