The Rockford Area Historical Society has successfully taken the first step toward its goal of moving the current Rockford Museum to its new site in the courthouse building that was vacated by the 63rd District Court in November 2009. Funds donated and pledged by area businesses and residents now total over $200,000, enabling the Society and the City of Rockford to enter into a lease agreement for the building. Over $100,000 is still needed to finish paying for renovations to the building and the creation of the exhibits that are planned for the new museum. In its new location the new museum will serve the community by offering expanded hours, more parking, better accessibility, and exciting interactive exhibits that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Additional fundraising activity will include an auction that will include online, silent and live auction events. The auction is being planned for late August or early September. The exact date will be set as soon as it can be determined when renovations will be completed to the point that the old courthouse will be ready for “visitors” This will be an exciting event. Current plans are to combine the online auction that will run for a period of time, a silent auction with items available for viewing for several days prior to a Saturday finale, and a live auction on that Saturday afternoon. The museum auction committee needs your help. Auction items ranging from vintage furniture, household goods, cars, boats, and power lawn equipment, to electronics, appliances, airfare, and vacation rentals such as condos and cottages, are being sought. Look around—if you don’t need it, maybe we do! Businesses are encouraged to also consider donating office equipment, services, or gift cards and certificates. Flyers with all the details will be available from area merchants soon, or you can call (616) 485-4144 any time to make donation arrangements or to get additional information. Historical Society members and volunteers are also now giving area residents an opportunity to have a little fun while making a small cash donation in a very unusual manner. This is a true win-win situation with a little mystery through the use of “scratch-off cards.” Anyone wanting to make a small donation can scratch off a spot […]
City of Rockford
by BETH ALTENA When a carriage company began doing business in downtown Rockford, the City realized they had no regulation in place regarding such operations. Traditional carriage and hayrides included in City celebrations have always fallen under the permitting process of special events applications. On Monday, May 14 during the regular City Council meeting, regulation for carriage services, hayrides and other horse-drawn services was approved unanimously. City Councilman Jerry Coon questioned whether the new regulations would have any effect on services offered during Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Start of Summer Celebration and was assured the new regulation—along with a $200 season application fee—would not apply to or affect the Chamber or any other festival organization that goes through the City permit process for special events. The regulations cover how hard horses can be worked, where they have to be during rest periods (on private, not public property) and other specifics regarding safety, sanitary concerns and hours of operation. The regulations also established violation policy. “This allows the public to enjoy these types of services without violating public space,” said City Manager Michael Young.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Over the past several years, the residents of the greater Rockford community have been treated to “The Blues” and the “Open Mic”. And now those same residents will be able to enjoy another genre of music. Christian music will now fill the air of Rockford’s Garden Club Park on twelve consecutive Sunday evenings this summer. “What better way, for Rockford residents and visitors from out of town, to spend a warm summer evening than in the beautiful Rogue River setting of the park while enjoying music dedicated to the Creator of all things,” said City Councilman and event organizer, Rich Moll. The idea for “Praise in the Park” entered Moll’s mind a few years ago, but he was unable to get needed support to make the idea fly. Moll placed it on the back burner but couldn’t get it out of his mind. All that changed recently when Ethan Ezikian, the Worship Director from Rockford Reformed Church, asked Moll what it would take to hear some Christian music in downtown Rockford. With that simple question and Ezikian’s support the dream galvanized. Numerous churches in the area were contacted and a large enough pool of churches readily agreed to play a part in this inaugural event by filling the twelve weeks that were planned. The Sunday evening programs may include Praise teams, duets, solos, instrumental music, and even good old-fashioned traditional hymn sings. Your reporters, the Hills, were on hand last Sunday evening when the Praise Team from Rockford Reformed Church performed a blend of vocal and instrumental music before a large appreciative crowd. Many on hand that evening were first time visitors to Rockford’s annual Start of Summer Celebration weekend. “My family and I had a blast in Rockford this weekend,” said Cayden Tanner from Orlando, Florida. “And this wonderful evening of music was the icing on the cake.” Moll envisions each of the Sunday evening performances to be a wholesome event for the “entire family” to enjoy, saying, “The God given faith based talents of the musicians and singers of our area churches are simply awesome. Mark your calendars for the remaining eleven weeks of the “Praise in the Park” schedule. You won’t be disappointed.” “Praise in the Park” […]
The Rockford Department of Public Safety (DPS) responded to several business break-ins the morning of Saturday, June 2. Rockford DPS would like to remind all business owners that it is important to report all break-ins and attempted break-ins immediately, even if it appears nothing was taken. If you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately by calling 911 or the Rockford DPS’ non-emergency number (616) 866-9557. If you have information regarding this crime or another, contact the Rockford DPS at (616) 866-9557 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In a proactive move to increase City revenue with accurate water meter readings, the City of Rockford plans to change out all residential and business water meters within the City along with those in areas served by Rockford outside the City limits. Over time the reading mechanisms of all water meters degrade and slow down and do not accurately record water usage. The result is lost revenue necessary for on-going improvements to, and maintenance of, the City of Rockford’s water distribution system. Over a 5-year period new state-of-the-art water meters capable of remote reading will replace all current water meters. In doing so, meters can be read from a passing Rockford Public Works vehicle rather than on foot resulting in ongoing cost savings. The City also proposes a nominal 2-percent water/sewer rate increase, its first in four years and 3 years, respectively.