The metal frame of the new AAR facility at the Chicago Rockford airport is almost complete — even as questions over funding the massive project remain.
$16-million in state funding approved last year has been put on hold.
The governor’s office now saying in a statement: “We look forward to the airport securing the rest of the AAR federal project funding as well as working with the state legislature to re-appropriate the necessary state funds in a capital bill.”
In other words… that state money is no longer secured.
However, airport officials are confident they’ll get that money.
“Everyone is committed to this project and has made sure that they’ve made commitments and statements that they’re going to do everything they can to make sure that this project goes forward and the funding made available,” said Jeff Polsean, the Economic Development Manager for the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
Polsean said that the airport has contingency funding plans to keep the project going.
Many involved admitting it’s just one of many challenges they’ve faced from the start.
“We have had challenges on this project from the start,” said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. “But that’s because it’s a big deal, a big project. We should never ever be surprised when projects have challenges.”
AAR officials adding they’ll keep the pressure on politicians because the payoff for everyone will be great. “It means growth for a community that absolutely needs it and deserves it,” said Cheryl Jackson, the Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate.
Once completed, it will be the largest constructed aircraft service facility of it’s type in the state, and it will bring at least 500 new jobs to the region.