- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Rockford airport officials will be able to borrow $8 million from lenders to keep contractors at work on a jet repair facility scheduled to open this spring while they wait for state and federal funding to be secured.

The $40 million maintenance hangars at Chicago Rockford International Airport will house aviation services company AAR Corp. and employ hundreds of workers. The project would be a crucial addition to the Rockford area’s growing aerospace industry.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is withholding $15 million in state funding for the project, saying it wants a written guarantee that the federal government will make good on its $10 million share.

On Thursday, the Greater Rockford Airport Authority approved a deal to double its $4 million line of credit with Alpine Bank to keep construction of the facility on schedule, the Rockford Register Star reported (https://bit.ly/1FxoJUl ).

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos pressed Rauner in a letter last week to release the state money, and Durbin offered assurances that he would deliver the federal money.

In response, James Schultz, director of the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said the state’s appropriation for the project expired at the end of the previous fiscal year on June 30. In order for the money to be released now, “the airport will have to demonstrate evidence of $10 million in federal funding for the project and the state’s funding must be appropriated during the current fiscal year,” Schultz said.

The state money also would need to be authorized by the General Assembly, at a time when the Republican governor and Democratic legislative leaders are locked in a budget impasse that has lasted several months.


Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.com


Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.com

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