Rockford aldermen approve downtown gas station - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford aldermen approve downtown gas station


It's an empty lot now, but a Kelley Williamson gas station, convenience store, and car wash will soon go in downtown Rockford.  This will be in the area between Market, Jefferson, 2nd & 3rd Street. 

But  not everyone is on board.  Before Monday night's council meeting a few residents spoke out against the proposal. 

"I'm deeply concerned about the trajectory of downtown in general and future proposals in particular  when outlier projects like this that are decidedly non-city come this far without  a robust discussion on the design standards distinguishing this district from its suburban counterparts," says resident Michael Smith. 

"I hope that Kelley Williamson and the city can reach a compromise," says resident Gary Carlson. "If not, a better, much more appropriate plan  will come our way. "

2nd Ward Alderman Jonathan Logemann says the timing of the project just isn't right. 

"I think it's important that we grow responsibly. I'm not at all opposed to a gas station, I'm opposed to this specific measure at this specific time," says Logemann.  "I think it's too soon when we think of the Amerock deal and we've heard talks of a grocer coming in soon as well. At this time I feel uneasy voting for this measure."

The station falls in Alderman Chad Tuneberg's Ward. He says the proposal generated a lot of discussion among his constituents.  Tuneberg says people were vocal about their concerns about what the station could do to the aesthetics of the neighborhood and if it'll stunt downtown development. 

"Out of all the negative oppositions I've gotten, I've probably gotten 50% more asking for it to take place.  Saying we need it, we want it, it fits a piece of the puzzle."

Ultimately aldermen voted 11 to 1 in favor of the proposal.  Aldermen seeing a benefit to the community in more ways than one. 

"When I hear from Mr. Griffin that there will be 20  attendants that will work there full or part time plus the construction, that's the seller," says 9th Ward Alderman Bill Rose.  "When we say no to a project like this we're saying no to jobs."

"I think based on the location it does meet the criteria and will serve the entire community and the downtown community well," says Alderman Kevin Frost. 

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