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Rockford-Area Banks Pitching In On Airport Project

Susan Stephens

A massive project at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport is back on track, thanks to a collaboration by five local banks. 

Last year, Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin were among a crowd of state and local officials announcing a plan to build a $40-million jet repair and maintenance facility at Rockford’s airport. The airport would lease it to aviation services company AAR. But about half of the funding for the project got caught up in the state’s funding crisis: the promised money will have to be re-appropriated when the state budget is straightened out. That could mean big delays in building the facility that’s supposed to open next fall.

Local banks to the rescue -- On Wednesday, Alpine Bank, Rockford Bank and Trust, Northwest Bank, Byron Bank, and Blackhawk Bank signed an agreement to extend a line of credit to the airport for the project. Access to $17-million should get the construction completed in time. Representatives from the banks cited the importance to the community of the 500 to 1000 aircraft-related jobs.  

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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