Rockford — When voters in Rockford go to the polls on November 7, they’ll be asked to renew a long-standing parks and recreation millage that helps the district provide recreational opportunities and services to the broader Rockford community, including its senior citizens.
The renewal request is a no-increase renewal, which means that Rockford taxpayers will continue to fund community services at a rate of .9125 mills, or $0.9125 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation.
If voters approve the millage, it will fund these services for the next 20 years, or until 2044.
Lisa Jacobs, executive director of Community Services in Rockford, said that the funds drawn from the millage provide a broad array of opportunities to the public.
“The Community Services department connects the community with educational and fun opportunities for all ages at minimal to no cost. … We also provide the ability for our community groups to utilize the facilities after the school day,” she said.
In total, the millage provided $2,142,842 in revenue in 2022, the majority of which was spent on labor to provide classes like “Medicare Made Simple,” a home buyers class, swim lessons, pickleball and others. The funds also support the use of school facilities for clubs and group meetings for organizations like the Boy and Girl Scouts, law enforcement training, Special Olympics and more.
By law, parks and recreation millage revenue cannot be used to pay for any core educational programming provided by the school district.
If renewed, Jacobs noted that Community Services would prioritize millage funds to reduce the pay-to-play fee for youth sports by 50%.
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