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Rockford looks to copy development incentives along East State Street

Tuesday, February 03, 2009  
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By Laura Gibbs
WREX.com
Posted February 3, 2009 @ 6:16 p.m.
 
ROCKFORD (WREX) - The City of Rockford looks at repeating steps already taken along East State Street. Last year Rockford City Council members created a Tax Increment Financing district along the stretch between Alpine and Fairview Road.

Now the city's looking at potentially creating another TIF district. The idea's to head further east on State Street which would encompass the area from Alpine to Mulford Road.

Patrick Hayes, Rockford's City Legal Director states, "Long term it seems like a really good place for us to revitalize. I think that's the city's ambition."

Initial talk of creating a TIF district started at Monday night's Finance and Personnel Committee meeting. Rockford aldermen postponed any action till next week. But one of the main anchors along that stretch already wants to help with this off campus event.

John McNamara is Vice-President of Rockford College Development. McNamara tells 13 News, "I think it's a laudable thing that they're exploring. I think it's pretty important to do."

McNamara says the school has no plans to expand in the future. Typically TIF dollars help improve distressed or underdeveloped areas that might not otherwise be revitalized. Even without expansion plans college administrators welcome the changes around them.

McNamara says, "We are happy to cooperate with the city and anything that really is consistent with our long term goals we would consider. But that would be down the road."

Rockford College just got done updating its strategic plan. There's no plans to sell any vacant land on campus.
This story appeared at http://www.wrex.com/Global/story.asp?S=9783120 on February 3, 2009.

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