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Aldermen Delay Voting For South New Towne Drive Housing Project

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Rockford’s City Council’s Codes and Regulations Committee decided to layover voting for a plat of land on South New Towne Drive that’s become a battleground for controversy.  At Monday night’s meeting, Aldermen say they want to have a serious sit-down discussion with Wisconsin developer Gorman & Company about the proposed 49-unit housing project before making a votet.

A ‘yes’ vote would have given Gorman access to the resources it needed to build the housing project on Rockford’s East side, such as water, sewer, and electrical.

Aldermen say Gorman, once again, left them in the dark leading up to the meeting, about their plans for development on South New Towne Drive. Gorman originally proposed building a 65 unit low income housing project earlier this year, and aldermen say the developer did not involve them in that process.

Aldermen also upset that Gorman brought in a court reporter to sit in front of them during the vote. The elected officials chose to have the reporter removed from the area, and placed in the gallery.

An official from Gorman called Monday’s decision to layover the vote disappointing, but says they are not giving up on their plan to bring fair housing to Rockford.

“[We’re] disappointed, but not discouraged,” Andre Blakley, from Gorman, says. “We continue to see the biggest fight and battle here is just the current conditions, and providing opportunities for the public housing residents across the city of Rockford.”

10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach says, “Withdraw if you will, this (plat) application tonight, until we can have this (public housing) discussion (with Gorman). I think that would go a long way in rebuilding the trust that’s been broken, at least in my opinion.”

The Codes and Regulations committee will vote on the plan again in two weeks.

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