Rockford plans to collect money it invested in company leaving t - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford plans to collect money it invested in company leaving the area

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

It gave hope to hundreds of people looking for a job when it opened.  Now a Rockford debt collection company is pulling out of town.

Before Financial Management Systems, or FMS, goes, city officials said it owes them money.

When FMS set up shop in 2009 on Rockford's Miracle Mile, it gave many people like Cindy Massion hope when they were struggling to find work during the recession.

"It's a relief to have a job in a company where I feel there's a secure future," said Massion during the grand opening in 2009.

But FMS' future in Rockford appears to be over.  City officials confirmed to 13 News they were notified right before Thanksgiving the company intends to move out by February.  Officials said FMS will relocate its Rockford operation to the Chicago suburbs.

At its grand opening in 2009, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey touched on why FMS chose Rockford in the first place. 

"One of the things by the way that they were attracted to is our local educators that can help provide a well trained workforce to enable them to get the people that they needed," said Morrissey at the time.

To make sure FMS had a steady stream of workers, the city ponied up $200,000 as part of a development agreement.  City officials told 13 News it meant the company had to create 200 jobs and sustain those positions until 2017.

Todd Cagnoni, the city's Director of Community and Economic Development said, "We're in conversation with FMS now with how their closing impacts their development agreement with us and when the money has to be paid back."

Our calls to FMS for comment were not returned.

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