After months of sitting in disrepair, Rockford's Midway Theater may soon see construction work. The theater's roof collapsed last year, and the building has sat exposed to the elements.
Now the city is turning up the heat for building owner Peter Crane to fix the roof on the historical building.
Both the city and Crane agree, they would rather repair the building than demolish it.
'The building is very important to the city of Rockford, it's a historic building that provides gateway into our downtown area and our goal is to see that property brought up to code. and it Mr. crane can do that we'd like to help him make that happen," says City Attorney Jennifer Cacciapaglia.
In a closed meeting, city administrators negotiate a fully agreed order with Crane to begin repairing the building
Under that order, Crane will need to meet set milestones every 30 days. His first check-in is February 27th. The city will also inspect the building monthly to monitor progress.
Cacciapaglia says, "So these milestones will require him to be actively working on the property, ordering roofing materials, providing proof of invoices that those materials have been ordered and paid for. Erecting the new roof, taking down what's left of the old roof. It's structural milestones."
If at any time crane fails to meet these requirements, he faces a steep fine of $70,000 dollars, up from the previous $45,000 dollar penalty.
He will however, be rewarded for finishing the project on time, says Cacciapaglia. "If he meets all the conditions of the order and brings the property up to code, we'll reduce the fine to 25 hundred dollars."
The final completion date is October first. Cacciapaglia says the city will only grant Crane an exception to this date in the event of a natural disaster or an "Act of God."
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