AAR project delayed again as county leaders iron out details
WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) -
In case the plan to build a $40 million jet repair facility hits any turbulence, Winnebago County leaders want to send in their own co-pilot, so to speak.
But the project won't even get off the ground, if board members don't approve their portion of the funding.
Back in October, AAR broke ground at the location of its new jet repair center at Rockford's airport.
The airport agreed to build the jet repair facility for the company, but is asking the City of Rockford and Winnebago County to pick up part of the tab.
Winnebago County Finance Committee Chairman Ted Biondo said he is positive the committee would have approved its portion of the funding at the meeting Thursday night that was canceled.
"I think it's almost unanimous that we would approve this," Biondo said. "I think the city will too, but again we are elected officials. We have a job to do and it's to minimize the risk for the people that pay us taxes."
But the meeting was canceled, other board members say, because there was no agreement ahead of time.
"We just need a little more time to finish the document," said Scott Christiansen, Winnebago County Board Chairman. "You know as they say, the devil is in the details. It's a fantastic deal for this community, but we have to get all of that ironed out."
Once an agreement is made by the board, the chairman says they'll propose a project manager.
That person would serve as a coordinator between the city and the board making sure communication between the two is clear, Christiansen said.
"It's got such a huge impact on our community," Christiansen said. "It's a great thing but we want to make sure everybody is informed on the process."
Christiansen also says there's still time to come to an agreement.
A special finance committee meeting could be called for either Monday or Tuesday.
According to Biondo, the chances of it not passing seem slim.
"I really don't think that's a possibility. I do think it will pass," Biondo said.
Once the committee approves the agreement, it would then be voted on by the Winnebago County Board.