ROCKFORD - "We just got to come up with a deal with the city that makes sense for both sides," said Gary Gorman, CEO of Gorman & Company Inc., in response to the Rockford City Council laying over his hotel and conference center proposal.
Gorman believes the proposal will ultimately be passed. "We're getting closer, we're inching in that direction," he said. "I think the voice of the people is pretty clear. I just hope that we can get through the questions that all the aldermen have," he added.
Many Rockford residents were in attendance at Monday's nights city council meeting, showing support for the proposal. "This is a very big opportunity for Rockford," said life long Rockford resident Skye Garcia.
Alderman Venita Hervey has been outspoken against the plan. She thinks the current proposal, which would cost the city up to 20 million dollars, will be too much of a burden for taxpayers.
"I want the hotel more than anybody, but I want to do it the right way," Hervey said. "I want the right funding sources, I want the right contributors at the table, and the balance has to come back in favor of tax payers and the developer," she added.
"Well they're funneling more money back toward the city that would have normally gone to the developer," said first ward Alderman Tim Durkee. Durkee is also against the proposal, buy says with the right funding, he's willing to consider it.
"I think what's happening now, is another iteration on trying to make this deal viable," Durkee said. "So some alderman have come up with some amendments, tweaks to the development deal to help is be more palatable," he added.
Skye Garcia wants the hotel to happen, but she's happy council is taking the extra time to rework the proposal to make sure the city gets the best deal.
"It's also a very big project that a lot of money is going to be put into," she said. "So with these types of projects, we have to take the time to make sure it's done right," she added.
Alderman Durkee tells Eyewitness News that the vote is laid over for one more week, and that it's possible the proposal could be voted on next week.
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