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More cleanup funds coming for Rock Falls

Mayor announces $800,000 revolving loan fund for riverfront redevelopment

ROCK FALLS – The state of Rock Falls? Pretty good, according to its mayor – and it’s going to get even better.

During a state of the city address at the Rock Falls City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Bill Wescott shared the news that the city is one of three Illinois cities to be approved for an $800,000 revolving loan fund for further cleanup and assessment, money that will be used to help with ongoing work at the former Parrish-Alford site on the city's riverfront.

Officials also are waiting on word of two clean-up grants, each valued at $200,000, to complete the Limestone Building cleanup.

"The cleanup of both these properties opens the door of unlimited potential for developments to occur," Wescott said.

City Administrator Robbin Blackert said the $800,000 will be used for work to the riverbank, and on keeping residual contaminants from leaching out of the Parrish-Alford site, a former industrial site.

"When work was done there 8 years ago, it was a temporary fix," Blackert said.

There's no date yet on when a contractor might be picked for the first phase of the project.

Blackert said the city could hear in the next few weeks on the other two IEPA grants.

Wescott also said work will start March 19 on the backbone for Rock Falls' fiber net project, to bring high-speed fiber optic broadband Internet to the city.

He said he’s been asked why the project was so important.

"Continuing studies show that access to high-quality broadband boosts property values and contributes to economic vitality," he said.

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