Public meeting raises ideas about Rockford spending - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Public meeting raises ideas about Rockford spending

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The city of Rockford holds the first of two public meetings to discuss community and economic development programs in the city.

The main focus, spreading out the budget to provide more money in areas that need attention, such as administration and property demolition.

"There are a few changes as far as economic development is related," says Vicki Manson, The Neighborhood Development Administrator. "And there are some changes because of less administrative money. We had to adjust our rehab services budget and our administrative budget."

The focus of the meeting was clear though. Getting public input on how the city of Rockford can spend money more wisely. One major area for improvement, property tear down.

"Federal money has a cap on the amount of money you can spend on demolition," Manson says. "And there is a need in different areas also that puts constraints on how much we can actually spend in the demolition line item."

The Community and Economic Development Program passed out information on the Community Development Block grant, the Home Investment Partnerships Program, and the Emergency Shelter grants, all programs that make up the Consolidated Plan Annual Update.

Daniel Kelly owns rental properties in town and is concerned about the budget for housing.

"If there's a dilapidated property in the neighborhood, it can bring down the values next door and across the street as much as $10,000," Kelly says. "So if we get rid of that blight, we can actually make the neighborhoods look better, bring up the property values, which is a win win because there will be more tax pays also."

There are still several changes in the works, including funding for administration and a new rental property that will go in front of the city council.

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