The Rockford Files


Good news: The powers-that-be in Rockford, Illinois, are backing down from the plan, cited here yesterday, to knock down a popular church and replace it with a spanking new jail. Scott Richert has the details:

By mid-afternoon, it appeared that the county was in full contrition mode. County Board Chairman Kris Cohn, State's Attorney Paul Logli, and Sheriff Richard Meyers issued a press release, stating that the county "has no plans to buy and/or destroy St. Mary's Church….The only land that may be impacted by a connecting tunnel or overhead walkway would be … the former grade school building. In the event that particular building is in any way affected, then appropriate and mutually beneficial arrangements will be made to preserve or relocate the heating plant currently located in the former school so as not to disrupt the Church or its congregation."

Here in Rockford, no battle is ever fully over, and while the county board resolution has been changed explicitly to exclude St. Mary's Oratory (but not the school and any other property, including the historic rectory), the resolution also makes a provision for "including any additional property required…" St. Mary's Oratory, however, is the only additional property in the area under consideration. Still, yesterday afternoon the sky seemed a little more blue, and the sun shone a little more brightly than normal. Perhaps Rockford was due for a little good news.