North Park Fire Department Boat

Rockford – On Tuesday, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced that the state is finally reimbursing the Village of Machesney Park for the boat ramp built on the Rock River back in 2015.

“Frankly, this should have happened earlier,” Stadelman said. “This is proof that Illinois is turning a fiscal corner and is finally keeping its promises to communities like Machesney Park.”

The original state grant for the dock was announced back in 2014 and was built the following year. Unfortunately, the reimbursement for the grant was frozen by former governor Bruce Rauner.

The boat ramp has improved public access to the Rock River and helped law enforcement to respond more quickly to emergencies.

“The boating public and first responders have really appreciated the boat launch, as shown by the amount of use it gets,” said Steve Johnson, mayor of Machesney Park. “It would not have happened without the 50% grant funding by the State, and we appreciate Senator Stadelman’s help in seeing the final payment through to us.”

The dock was part of the state’s Boat Area Access Development Program, which aimed to improve access to Illinois’ lakes and rivers. According to local officials, the dock has change the way emergency personnel have been able to rescue people and prevent additional accidents on the River.

The $200,000 check from the office of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza was officially issued last Thursday, December 5.