New year underway for Rochelle


I trust everyone had a great holiday season, and probably are enjoying a little breather as we head towards spring of 2023. The last two months of 2022 were extremely busy here within all city departments. The new year is well underway in the city, and with the mild winter weather, I hope it gives a break to our overtime, snow plow and salt budget. Currently, city council made several moves at the first meeting in January. New, or continued projects on the horizon include the continuation of the sewer lining projects, remodeling the Rail Fan Park, finishing the Rochelle Municipal Utilities campus offices, and lastly, we are closer to having the upper level of city hall ready to shift the entire HR department into one area.

In December, we had the resignation of Mitch Montgomery from the Police & Fire Board, which left us with one vacancy of the three positions. Jan. 9, an interview process for applicants was held, and Gregg Olson, CEO of Rochelle Community Hospital, will fill that position. Congratulations and we welcome Gregg to the board, and also a big thank you to Mitch, who served the P&F Board for many years. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

Currently, we are actively planning the next hiring event for the community, which will be held on Friday, March 10. The hours for the public will be from noon to 2 p.m. This year, I am happy to see that with the relief from the pandemic, juniors & seniors alike will be able to attend the event in the morning, with there also being seasonal work as well as full-time jobs available. We here at the city are super excited about the continued support and collaboration with Rochelle Township High School, as well as Kishwaukee College. We are blessed to be able to grow these relationships for the benefit of all. Also, a big thank you to Rochelle Foods for being an event sponsor this year, and they truly have always been a great partner in Rochelle.

Although the weather has stopped construction on the transload/intermodal yard project, internally the excitement and interest from companies that will utilize this facility continues to come in. Many thanks to GREDCO (Greater Rochelle Economic Development Group), and the city economic development department for making this happen. These two groups working together is an amazing example of a successful public/private partnership that benefits the city of Rochelle. I would be remiss if I didn’t also say thank you to our city manager and our very supportive city council, because without their continued guidance and support, many projects would never get off the ground. Lastly, I am very anxious to see what further great news and projects will bless our community in 2023.

I will finish today’s article with a great quote from an anonymous author:

“The past is your lesson. The present is your gift. The future is your motivation.”

John Bearrows is the mayor of the City of Rochelle.

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