Rockford aldermen side stepped a vote on fee waivers for Mercyhealth's expansion on East Riverside Boulevard.
Amendments introduced by Aldermen Kevin Frost removed the issue of the $200,000 fee waivers from Monday night's discussion. Aldermen will take up that vote on a unspecified later date. Tonight's vote was solely about another part of the expansion project: the road construction and improvements near the hospital campus.
Aldermen narrowly approved the amended agreement with a 6 to 5 vote. The plan is for this work to be funded by a $10,000,000 grant from IDOT.
However, some aldermen shared concerns over IDOT's role. Saying the state's budget stalemate could leave the city on the hook for the money.
"I just want to make sure with the $6.5 million deficit we cannot be stuck with 10 million dollars of fees while the state of Illinois continues to fight over it's budget," says Alderman Venita Hervey.
But City Administrator Todd Cagnoni says the responsibility to pay for this work falls solely on Mercy.
"The responsibility is on the owner. So the ability for the city and the owner, to obtain the grant doesn't release any reliability from the owner as it relates to the overall public improvements."
It remains to be seen when aldermen will take up a vote on the fee waivers.