The City Council this week agreed to forgo nearly $50,000 in parking revenue to lure the Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses back to town after an 11-year absence.
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO John Groh said his office went “out on a ledge” and months ago promised free parking for convention attendees to help seal the deal. Had the City Council not approved the measure Monday, the RACVB may have had to go back to event organizers, eaten the cost of parking, or gone to corporate partners to ask for help paying it.
Alderwoman Venita Hervey, D-5, was the lone “no” vote on waiving the $5 a day event parking fee that would total an estimated $48,750 for all three weekends. Hervey said the fees are there to defray the burden placed on property taxpayers for the cost of parking.