Winnebago County board approves Loves Park Costco funds, members ask Haney to resign

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Winnebago County’s new board votes on the approval of funding for a Loves Park infrastructure Costco project. The vote comes on the heels of a controversial move by Chairman Frank Haney to veto the previous board’s decision.

Thursday, County board members voted 12-7 to give Loves Park $1.7 million for infrastructure near the new Costco. The previous board had approved the host fee funds back in November. But, Haney vetoed that decision.

This time, board members included an amendment to change the language of the agreement. Now, it will remove any association with Costco and instead focus on the I-90 and Riverside infrastructure project.

Multiple board members spoke on their disappointment about the vote being dragged on. Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury shared their frustrations.

“I disagree with the process, [how long] it took,” said Jury. “We started this project in early April and it’s finally coming to an end. I think the County Board Chairman was just very stubborn in what he was doing. He wasn’t looking at the whole picture.”

Also at Thursday’s meeting, board member Fred Wescott along with five other current and former board members (Jim Webster, Joe Hoffman, Burt Gerl, Eli Nicolosi, Gary Jury) asked for Haney’s resignation for the way the Loves Park agreement vote was handled.

“Being an obstructionist, it’s a tough word but that’s what’s happening here,” said Wescott. “I’m sorry but he’s just not fit for a job like this.”

Chairman Haney says he has no plans to step down.

“60,000 people put me in this position,” said Haney. “It sounds like I’m off one guy’s Christmas card list. We’ll roll forward, we’re on a mission.”

Costco is set to open summer 2019.

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