Growth and prosperity in Rochelle

Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows
Posted 2/8/22

As we begin another year, we look forward to abundant growth and prosperity in Rochelle in 2022.

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Growth and prosperity in Rochelle


As we begin another year, we look forward to abundant growth and prosperity in Rochelle in 2022.

We ended last year with the culmination of our first-ever Rochelle Municipal Utilities Shop Local Program, which processed nearly 6,000 applications. Approximately $500,000 was written off residential electric bills for those who participated. Because of the city’s’ commitment to helping small businesses remain open and viable during the COVID-19 pandemic, some $3 million was disbursed to stores and restaurants forced to close because of state mandates. We are thankful to the city staff who processed and disbursed the funds to keep losses at a minimum.    

Progress is being made at the demolition of Hickory Grove to allow for a shovel-ready site and the redevelopment of the Northern Gateway leading to the center of town. 

Our commitment to securing daycare services to our residents is becoming a reality with the formation of a new board made up of both city and community leaders who recently formed a 501(c)3 non-profit. This board will be responsible for fundraising, finding a facility location and securing a licensed operator. Obstacles have been overcome and I believe we are moving in the right direction with a strategic and methodical plan to relieve the stress of adequate childcare on our working families. There is much work to be done to get to an opening date. 

To keep the community updated on important issues, developments and happenings across the city, I plan to reinstate a bimonthly address to be live streamed on Facebook each second and fourth Thursday, following our city council meeting schedule.

On behalf of the citizens of Rochelle, I extend sincere gratitude for the service of Deputy Chief Jeff Leininger who recently retired after 20 years with the City of Rochelle. Congratulations to new Deputy Chief Terry Inman, who will fill the position. With the city since 2001, Inman also serves on the emergency management team, playing an important public safety role during the pandemic. 

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh and I will host a Facebook Live community update on Thursday, March 9 at 2 p.m. A link to the message will also be posted on the city website.

At the time of writing this article, many are looking forward to the From the Heart Rotary Event scheduled for Feb. 5 at the Flight Deck Bar & Grill. This charitable event has historically raised significant funds shared by eight local nonprofit groups that serve Rochelle individuals and families. This financial support is critical, especially with the challenges caused by COVID-19.  Thank you for your continued support.

Together, we will navigate the remaining challenges of the pandemic. Thank you for the support you continue to show each other.

John Bearrows is the mayor of the City of Rochelle.