Some Rockford Aldermen expressed concerns Monday night over a potential change to the city’s agreement with MercyHealth for the building of their new east side hospital.
Mercy is asking the city to cap all the fees associated with construction at $900,000, meaning the city would be on the hook for anything beyond that. 5th Ward Alderman Venita Hervey says that’s not the deal they made.
“The agreement was very clear that we were waiving half of the permit fees, the building permit fees, and that the 900,000 was it,” said Hervey.
Mercy wants Rockford to cover an additional estimated $200,000. Newly-elected alderman Chad Tuneberg says the cost is worth the benefits the new campus will bring to the region.
“Rockford is gonna go tooth and nail to get 200 thousand dollars on a half billion dollar project that, again, that’s just half a billion dollar project. Economic impact is WAY bigger,” said Tuneberg.
Hervey says if Mercy is allowed to avoid paying some fees, it could be a very slippery slope for the city.
“For MercyRockford to now take that contract, that we use with everyone, and say it’s ambiguous, puts us at risk that other people are going to say ‘Well, I don’t think I should have paid my fees’,” said Hervey.