Planning for the next five years.
Tuesday, the City of Rockford hosted a public hearing to get feedback for it’s Five Year Consolidated Plan. The information is meant to show the Department of Housing and Urban Development how the city will utilize grant funds. The federal money is meant to go towards housing, homelessness and community development.
“We are getting feedback from the community about the needs they see within the city,” said community development housing and programming manager Deb Dorsey. “We talk about the ways our funds can be used.”
City officials have to provide the federal government an outline of its programs and services. Each attending resident spoke about what they would like to see more investment in.
“Community events, community outreach, neighborhoods,” said Rockford resident Brad Gabbert.
Gabbert hopes grant money can go towards creating more inviting neighborhoods.
“[I’d like] different types of communities,” said Gabbert. “Different types of backgrounds, coming into communities and making it more diverse.”
One of the meeting’s biggest talkers was addressing blight.
“One of our focuses in terms of are is there properties that need to be demolished to really help rejuvenate neighborhoods?” said Dorsey.
In addition to the public comment meetings, the consultants are also sitting down with local agencies to get their take.
“They’re on the ground, they’re dealing with it on a daily basis,” said consultant Karl Haglund. “They really tell us what they’re seeing and what needs are that they see.”
“We can then put all that together and create a goal system for the next five years,” Haglund added.
Gabbert just moved to Rockford last October. He says although he’s a newer resident, he’s glad he attended Tuesday’s meeting.
“Just wanted to see ‘Ok, what direction I could offer’ and then, also what direction the city is heading towards.”
The Five Year Consolidated Plan is set to be completed in October. The city will host another public hearing Wednesday at 1 p.m. At the Rockford Public Library Nordlof Center.
If anyone can’t attend Wednesday’s meeting, city leaders ask residents to fill our their online survey: click here.