Freeport Mayor’s View: City seeks home improvements grant – News – Rockford Register Star

As we rapidly approach the end of the construction season, the City is quickly working to wrap up a variety of infrastructure projects. We had a busy year executing infrastructure projects and approving additional work that will be completed over the next year and a half.

In the past few months alone, the City completed the $3 million Float Avenue infrastructure project, repaved Sunset Drive, Hurd Street, Boggess Street, as well as portions of Ottawa Avenue and Winneshiek Street. Anyone who has driven over Locust Avenue between Lincoln Boulevard and Pleasant Street will appreciate the much-needed repairs that were conducted in the past week. We are also in the middle of milling the street and overlaying Highland Drive in its entirety and are planning on road repair on portions of South Demeter Drive before the weather, and leaf pickup season, prohibits us from further infrastructure improvement projects.

In addition to these water and sewer projects, the City also began utilizing our $2 million grant to replace lead service lines in the City. While all these projects can be an inconvenience to drivers attempting to navigate the construction zones, we appreciate the patience of the residents as this work is critical for upgrading our City’s infrastructure and improving our quality of life.

If you’ve driven along Burchard Avenue, you’ve no doubt noticed the long-term activity around the water tower, including a large drill. We are in the middle of drilling for our new water well #11. Once completed, this new well will allow us to draw water from the Mount Simon aquifer, which our testing has shown to have even higher quality water than provided by our other wells. Next year you’ll see construction on the water treatment plant that will be built adjacent to the well. Once operational, the well will be capable of producing 2,200 gallons of water per minute. This new treatment plant will replace our current Brick Street plant, which has been in service since 1882. We continue to seek supplemental sources of funding, such as grants, for this and all our infrastructure projects.

The City also implemented plans to aggressively continue infrastructure work next year. In addition to the work discussed above, the Council recently approved the Phase 2 Water Main and Looping project which will begin immediately and go through the next year and a half. This $2 million project, which is part of our longer-term Capital Improvement Plan, includes water main replacement along portions of the streets of Cleveland, Jefferson, Monroe, Santa Fe, Meadows, Sylvan and South. Approximately 20%, or $400,000, of this project will be forgiven by the IEPA upon completion, allowing us to stretch our capital improvement funds further. We were also pleased to award the lowest bid to a local bidder, providing an additional benefit to our local economy.

The City continues to pursue all sources of funding to stretch our local dollars and recently applied for two Community Development Block Grants along the Adams Avenue Corridor. If awarded, one grant

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Comings & Goings: Ronit’s Kitchen gets new ownership instead of closing – News – Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Instead of closing, the Indoor City Market restaurant Ronit’s Kitchen has new ownership.

As of Wednesday, Mustafa Abdall and Moe Allen are the new owners of the restaurant. They have renamed it Guzel, which means beautiful in Turkish.

The new name is meant to be a reflection of the Turkish-style breakfast the new owners will be adding to the menu.

Abdall is the founder of Winnebago Emerging Small Business Services, an organization that focuses on providing support to bilingual and multicultural entrepreneurs.

He was saddened to hear that Ronit’s Kitchen would be closing, so he got on the phone with Ronit Golan, the previous owner, to find out what he could do to help keep Mediterranean restaurant stay open. Time was of the essence as the restaurant had been scheduled to close on Wednesday.

Abdall asked that Golan give him 24 hours to find an investor to take over the restaurant and he did.

“I texted Ronit at 12 a.m. and said we are in. She texted me back at 6 a.m. and said, ’Yes, let’s meet.’ We met at 6 p.m. and signed and agreed about it,” said Abdall.

Abdall says the menu will remain the same with the exception of the breakfast additions. The restaurant will also have new hours and be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven day a week.

Despite the news of Rockford-area bars and restaurants needing to revert back to outdoor dining and curbside pickup as of Saturday due to a rise in the postivitiy rate for COVID-19, Abdall says he and Allen remain focused on keeping the business running.

“One day after we signed, those restrictions showed up. We were absent for a few hours but then we said, ’No, we will not give up.’ We will focus on online, pickup and delivery and we will see,” said Abdall.

Although Golan is sad to see her dream restaurant leave her ownership she is glad to know that her vision will remain intact and knows that her business is in good hands.

“I trust Mustafa because he is very active in the community and we have been involved in other events together so it’s nice to have someone I trust taking over the restaurant,” said Golan.

Shaquil Manigault: [email protected]; @RRstarShaquil

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Comings & Goings: Ronit’s Kitchen in downtown Rockford to close – Business – Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — A downtown restaurant that features Mediterranean cuisine and celebrated its one-year anniversary in June will close Sept. 30.

“COVID-19 has another casualty,” owner Ronit Golan said in a post Thursday on the Facebook page for Ronit’s Kitchen, which is located inside Indoor City Market, 116 N. Madison St., and serves foods such as homemade falafel, chicken schwarma and schnitzel.

“Roni and I tried to keep our doors open and serve the public the best we could during this unprecedented time,” she said, referring to her husband, Roni Golan, who operates a downtown art studio.

Restaurants and other businesses were shut down in March in Illinois to prevent spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, and were allowed to reopen in May for outdoor dining. Inside dining was later allowed with restrictions on the number of customers. The disease spreads through droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or talking.

Other downtown eateries have closed as a result of the pandemic, including Stewart Square Eatery and Kuma’s Asian Bistro. Social Urban Bar & Restaurant is no longer open for dining but hosts private events.

“I hope that in the near future after the dust from the closing settles we will keep serving you,” Ronit Golan said. She said she hopes to offer catering in the future.

Golan is encouraging customers to order food at the restaurant in the coming weeks. “Now is the right time to show us your support as we were hit very hard financially,” she said.

Georgette Braun: [email protected]; @GeorgetteBraun

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