City council: Daycare survey results presented

Sale of South 7th Street properties approved

Jeff Helfrich
Posted 11/25/21

City of Rochelle Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Tourism Jenny Thompson presented the results of a recent survey to assess daycare needs in town at the city council’s Monday meeting.

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City council: Daycare survey results presented

Sale of South 7th Street properties approved


ROCHELLE — City of Rochelle Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Tourism Jenny Thompson presented the results of a recent survey to assess daycare needs in town at the city council’s Monday meeting. 

The survey was circulated as the city works to help bring a daycare back to town after Kishwaukee Family YMCA Child Care Center at 1010 N. 15th St. closed last year. The survey received 309 responses with 72 percent of respondents saying they’re in need of a daycare and 71 percent saying their children would be likely to attend a daycare if it opened in town. 

Thompson said most of the families have 1-2 children under the age of 12 that they’d be enrolling in daycare and “most people” are looking for care for children under five who aren’t school age yet and need all-day care. 

Forty nine percent of respondents said a lack of childcare is preventing a parent from working outside the home and 75 percent said a lack of childcare is limiting a parent’s career options, Thompson said. 

For future steps, Thompson said the city received a $10,000 grant from the Rochelle Area Community Foundation to start putting something together for a daycare. The city is currently working on recruiting board members to start an independent nonprofit that will start fundraising once established. 

“Right now we don't have a mechanism to receive donations but we've had a lot of different industries and community members express interest in making contributions toward the center,” Thompson said. “As soon as this is established, the board could accept donations. This would all be done by the board, not by the city.”

Property sale

The city council unanimously approved the sale of two properties on South 7th Street to Tim Bruns and T & R Rentals, LLC. Mayor John Bearrows abstained from the vote. 

860 and 890 S. 7th Street were recently vacated by Rochelle Municipal Utilities personnel after a move to a new location. The properties were sold together for $260,000. Those funds will go back to the RMU water/water reclamation department.

Fire training facility

The council unanimously authorized an intergovernmental agreement with the Lee/Ogle Fire protection district for the construction of a new fire training facility.  

The facility, planned to be located at 920 S. Main St., will act as a training center for the city and the district. City staff is also discussing a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the American Public Power Association to utilize the location for a midwestern pole climbing school and lineman training center.   

The approximately 12-acre property would be owned by the city and would be managed by the city manager and fire chief and was appraised for $580,000 in 2021. Under the agreement, the OLFPD would pay the city $263,000 and would split the cost of future development with the city based on usage of it.

Remodeling design

The council unanimously approved $38,000 for retention of Cordogan & Clark for design services for remodeling of its new Commercial Service Building at 1030 S. 7th St. The former Johnson Tractor Building was purchased by the city earlier this summer. 

Cordogan and Clark will complete a master plan study that will entail a multi-step, all-encompassing plan for improvements to the building. If approved, design and construction would take place throughout 2022 with staff relocations beginning toward the end of 2022 or early 2023.

E’s Corner Deli

The council unanimously approved a development agreement with E’s Corner Deli, a deli/restaurant that plans to open at 430 Lincoln Hwy. The city will reimburse the business up to $40,000 for the installation of a larger water service from the city’s water main to the building and the installation of a new sanitary sewer line.

The grant is conditioned upon E’s Corner Deli commencing business operations by May 1, 2022.

Police agreement

The council unanimously approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement with the Illinois Council of Police union after the city’s CBA with its patrol officers and dispatchers expired earlier this year. 

The new agreement includes three percent cost of living adjustments for the next three years, an additional 15-year step added to the wage grid, a new shift differential for evening and overnight shifts, increased uniform allowance, sick leave accrual on a pay period basis to match other employees, compensatory time increased from 60 to 70-hour bank, an additional holiday day and increased employee contribution for health insurance. The union has already ratified the agreement. 

“This agreement represents a good faith effort on both sides to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to our employees and the city,” the meeting’s agenda packet said. “We have enjoyed a productive and positive relationship with our police officers and dispatchers and this agreement represents these positive steps.”

Water meters

The council unanimously approved a $539,718 purchase of water meter equipment. The city is working to have all of its 4,200 meters under the same manufacturer and system and is in the final phase of its replacement program which will install 1,900 meters and communication devices. Equipment will start to be installed early next year.

Gas pump

The council unanimously approved the donation of a Standard Oil gas pump to the Flagg Township Museum. The pump was donated to the city’s historic filling station several years ago. 

The filling station is being utilized as The Spark Shop, a retail incubator space for local makers and space is limited, so the city recommended that the pump be donated to the museum for display. The pump has no working components inside and has a value of under $1,000. Councilman Tom McDermott abstained from the vote.

Good News

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh presented a Good News award at the meeting to Finance Director Chris Cardott and Industrial Development Manager Peggy Friday after the city received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation award.

“We applied for it the first time last year,” Fiegenschuh said. “It's unheard of to receive it your first year. I'm very proud of all the hard work our staff has done. We're in such great shape financially. We have an amazing budget and kudos to Peggy and Chris for all their hard work.”