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Community & Economic Development's FAQs

Can I take unwanted medications to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility?

Unwanted medications are not accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facility. However, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) has an annual medication drive. Visit their website at www.knib.org for more information.

Who can I call regarding building and electrical permits?

Building and electrical permits are handled by the Construction & Development Services Division of the Community & Economic Development Department. For building permits you can call 815-987-5550. For electrical permits you can call 815-987-5749.

Can I get financial assistance to make home repairs?

The Neighborhood Development Division of the Community & Economic Development Department sponsors a federally funded program for home rehabilitation in certain portions of the City of Rockford. To find out if you are in one of the areas we are assisting, call 815-987-5600 or e-mail susan.diehl@rockfordil.gov. Please note the rehabilitation program is for owner-occupied homes only (no rental properties). Eligibility criteria and more information can be found on our website. Copy and paste the web address below into your internet address bar for more information. http://dev.rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-development/neighborhood-development-programs.aspx/#Home Rehabilitation

How can I get assistance paying my utility bills?

Financial assistance on utility bills is provided by the Human Services Department providing funds are available. Contact Human Services at 815-987-5782.

Can I get assistance on my rental payment?

Financial assistance on rental payments is provided by the Human Services Department or Rockford Township, provided funding is available. Human Services Department: 815-987-5782 Rockford Township: 815-962-8855

Can I receive financial assistance to purchase a home?

The Neighborhood Development Division of the Community & Economic Development Department does administer homebuyer down payment assistance programs in certain portions of the City. As this is a federally funded program, financial assistance depends on the availability of funds. To find out which areas of the city are included in this program, eligibility requirements and other information regarding this program, copy and paste the website address below into your internet address bar. http://dev.rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-development/neighborhood-development-programs.aspx/

Can the City of Rockford help me start a new business?

The Economic Development division of the Community & Economic Development Department offers a variety of financial assistance programs for designated areas of the city. Economic Development also offers documentation for starting your own business that can be very helpful for new business owners. We encourage you to visit their website at the address below. You can also contact Economic Development at 815-987-5632. http://www.rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/economic-development-division.aspx

Does the City of Rockford provide foreclosure lists for residential properties?

No, the City of Rockford does not provide foreclosure lists. Local Realty Agencies could provide you with that information.

How can I get lien information on a property?

Lien information is kept through the Winnebago County Recorder's office, at 815-319-4325. City of Rockford policy prevents the City from providing lien information.

How do I find out who my Alderman is?

Although any department in the City can tell you who your alderman is, you may contact the Community & Economic Development Department at 815-987-5600.

How do I find out about events taking place in the city?

The two phone numbers listed below should be able to answer any questions you may have about events taking place in Rockford. You can also visit the News and Calendar section of our website. The links are visible from the top horizontal navigation bar. 815-987-5591 for Parades and Festival. 815-489-1656 for all other events.

Who would I talk to regarding Historic Preservation?

Historic Preservation questions can be answered by Jessica Roberts from the Construction & Development Services division of the Community & Economic Development department. You can contact her at 815-987-5612 or jessica.roberts@rockfordil.gov.

Who can I talk to regarding my water bill or water service?

All water questions can be answered by the Water division of the Public Works department. For questions on your water bill call 815-987-5700. For questions regarding your water service or quality call 815-967-3770.

Where can I report broken tree limbs or overgrown trees?

If the tree is located in the area between the street and sidewalk (called the right-of-way), contact the Public Works department Forestry division at 815-987-5763. If the tree is located on private property, the City does not have authority to assist. You would need to contact the property owner.

Who do I notify about a pot hole in the street?

Please call the pothole hotline at 987-5771 to report pot holes within the City of Rockford.

How do I get on the bid list for City Projects?

To submit a bid or get on the bidding list for City Projects, contact the Central Service division of the Finance department at 815-987-5560.

Who would I contact regarding questions about my weekly trash pickup?

Questions regarding trash or lawn refuse should be directed to the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development department. Most of your questions can be answered from their sanitation web page, located at the web address below. You can copy and paste the weblink into your internet address bar or call Neighborhood Standards at 815-987-5566. http://www.rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

What does the Household Hazardous Waste Facility Accept?

We encourage you to view the Neighborhood Standards division sanitation brochure, which has a full list of acceptable hazardous items, times the facility is open and the location of the facility. Copy and paste the weblink below into your internet address bar for more information. You can also call Neighborhood Standards at 815-987-5566 or e-mail us at NSComplaints@rockfordil.gov. http://www.rockfordil.gov/media/6255/Garbage%20Brochure.pdf

Who can I contact regarding a Code Violation I received?

Code Violations are handled by the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department. Call 815-987-5566. In order to direct your call to the appropriate inspector of your violation, please either give us the name of the inspector, the code violation number or your address and type of violation. The name of the inspector should be listed on the first page of the violation you received as well as the violation number. Inspectors spend most of their day in the field performing inspections so the best time of day to reach them in person is between 8am and 9am in the morning or between 4pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

Who can I contact regarding Sanitation Code Hearings?

Sanitation Code Hearings are handled by the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department. Please call 815-987-5566.

Who would I contact regarding Voting questions?

The Rockford Board of Election Commissioners handles all voting matters. You can call them at 815-987-5750 or visit their website at www.voterockford.com.

Where can I take hazardous material?

Your hazardous material can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 3333 Kishwaukee Street (the same location as Rock River Water Reclamation District) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. For information concerning what is acceptable, we encourage you to visit the sanitation web page for the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development department. You can copy and paste the link below into your internet address bar. http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

What is accepted at the Hazardous Waster Facility?

Rockford residents can dispose of household hazardous waste at the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Center at 3333 Kishwaukee St.(Rock River Water Reclamation District), Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. (noon) to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. We encourage you to visit our Sanitation website at this address:http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx Accepted materials: aerosols pesticides corrosives batteries oxidizers fluoresoent lamps solvents used oil oil-based and latex paints up to 4 used tires (without the rim) waste oils and insulin disposal Unaccepted Materials: radioactive waste compressed gas explosives 55 gal. drums If you have any questions please contact: Neighborhood Standards, at 815-967-6900.

Who can I call regarding street lights?

Any questions regarding street lights, please contact Public Works at 815-987-5570.

Who would I contact regarding Trailers on property?

Questions regarding Trailers on residential property can be answered by the Neighborhood Standards Division of the Community & Economic Development Department at 815-987-5566.

When can I put my garbage out for pick-up?

Garbage cans and/or bags should be placed at the curb or alley no earlier than 3 p.m. the night before your regularly scheduled pick-up day and no later than 6 a.m. the day of pick up. For more information on sanitation, please visit our website at: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx You can also contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Department at 987-5566.

When do I put away my empty trash cans?

All trash containers must be removed from the curb or alley and returned to a storing location by 8 a.m. the day following pick-up. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

On what holidays will trash not be picked up?

Garbage pickup does not occur on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Garbage will be pushed forward a day if it falls on a holiday. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

What is acceptable to be recycled?

Rockford residents are not required to recycle; however, the City encourages all residents to take advantage of the recycling program. Each household is furnished with a blue recycling bin from Rock River Disposal. If you need a recycling bin you can contact Rock River Disposal at 815-965-2489. Aluminum and tin cans, glass jars and bottles, aerosol cans, coded plastics #1 - #7, and 6 and 12 pack rings will be accepted. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

How do I get a recycle bin?

If you need a recycling bin you can contact Rock River Disposal at 815-965-2489.

When are my recyclables picked up?

Recyclables will be collected on your regular garbage day. Rock River Disposal has a separate truck for recycling. If you have any questions call Rock River Disposal at 815-965-2489. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

Can I burn leaves on my property?

Leaf burning is prohibited in Winnebago County and in the City of Rockford. You can either place your leaves in a garbage container that has been marked with a large "X" on the front or in compostable paper bags. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

Why didn't Rock River Disposal pick up my garbage/lawn waste?

There could be a number of reasons your trash or yard waste wasn't picked up. Branches must be in bundles no more than 4 feet long by 2 feet in diameter and not exceeding 25 pounds. You should use twine or rope to bundle branches (no metal or plastic). Lawn waste in compostable paper bags must not be broken or overfilled. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

Will Rock River Disposal take large items?

Bulk items are household items that are too large to be placed in a garbage can or bag. Items containing freon (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, etc.) will be accepted only if they are certified freon free by a licensed refrigeration technician. Building and remodeling materials, automobile parts, oil, tires, liquid waste, and paint thinner will not be accepted. Bulk items will be collected each week on the same day and placed as refuse. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

Where should I store my garbage?

Refuse containers and garbage bags should be stored in a garage, shed or other inconspicuous area not visible from street until they can be properly placed at the curb for pickup. For more information you can contact the Neighborhod Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 815-987-5566 or view the sanitation web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards/sanitation.aspx

Where can I put my garage sale signs?

Garage, Yard or Rummage Sale signs cannot be larger than 2 feet by 2 feet (4 square feet). Signs can only be displayed on private property for no more than 4 days in any 6 month period. Such signs shall be removed the day following the sale. Garage, Yard or Rummage Sale Signs are limited to one per zoning lot in residential districts. Such signs are not permitted on property not used for residential purposes. Balloons, banners or other such advertising devices are not allowed under City ordinances. Questions regarding garage sales? Contact Neighborhood Standards, 815-987-5566.

Do I need a permit to have a garage sale?

Residents of the City of Rockford do not need a permit to have a garage sale. Residents are allowed up to 2 garage sales per year. Garage sales can last up to three consecutive days in a row. We suggest you review the Ordinace Violations brouchure at this website: http://www.rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards.aspx or you can contact Neighborhood Standard at 815-987-5566.

How do I report abandoned vehicles, boats or trailers?

Neighborhood Standards deals with vehicles, boats or trailers sitting on residential property. The Rockford Police Department deals with these vehicles if they are located on the street. To report a violation to Neigborhood Standards you can submit your compliant through an online service request located at: http://rockfordil.gov/forms/report-improper-storage-of-a-recreational-vehicle,-boat-or-trailer-on-private-property.aspx or call Neighborhood Standards at 815-987-5566. To report a violation on the street, contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900. Please be sure to include the exact address.

How can I report a property with overgrown weeds or grass?

If you believe the overgrown area is 10" tall or higher, you can contact the weeds hotline at 815-967-6768. You can also report the violation online at this address: http://rockfordil.gov/service-requests.aspx Neighborhood Standards will see that the property gets mowed. Please make sure you have exact address.

Do I need a permit to run a business from my home?

Depending on the type of business, you may or may not need a permit. Some businesses cannot be run from home. For more information on home run business regulations, view the Neighborhood Standards brochure: http://rockfordil.gov/media/110693/ns%20violations-home%20business-garage%20sale.pdf If you still have questions you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department at 815-987-5550.

Do I need a permit to install a fence on my property?

There are many regulations regarding fencing on private property. We recommend you review the fencing portion of the Neighborhood Standards brochure located at this address: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/neighborhood-standards.aspx If you still have questions you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development department at 815-987-5550.

Can I report my neighbors for not cleaning up after their dog?

The City of Rockford has no ordinance regarding the responsibilities of pet owners to clean up after their pets.

How do I find out if my home is designated an historic property?

Contact the Community and Economic Development Department at 815-987-5600.

What is a TIF district?

Tax Increment Finance (TIF) is a tool used by the City of Rockford to finance public improvements and assist private development projects within targeted neighborhoods. For more information, we encourage you to visit the Economic Development web page: http://rockfordil.gov/community-economic-development/economic-development-division/tax-increment-financing.aspx If you still have questions you can contact Jovita Donahue of the Community & Economic Development Department at 815-987-5632.

How do I find out if I'm in a TIF district?

You can call Community & Economic Development to find out if you are in a TIF district at 815-987-5600.

Do I need to give my name if I want to report a violation?

No, the Community & Economic Deveploment Department does not ask for your personal information, does not record your informatin in they computer systems, and will not inform the property owner of the violation who reported the violation.

How do I become a rehabilitation contractor for Neighborhood Development?

Neighborhood Development is a division of the Community and Economic Development Department that is responsible for administering housing rehabilitation programs, home ownership programs, and providing assistance to neighborhood and community service organizations. To that end, we are always looking for qualified home rehabilitation contractors. If you are interested in becoming one of our rehabilitation contractors, please read the materials from the links below (you will need to copy and paste the links into your web browser). http://rockfordil.gov/media/8075/Construction%20-%20Construction%20Rehab%20Projects%20Gen%20%20Conditions%20Revised.pdf http://rockfordil.gov/media/8074/Construction%20Contractors%20Policy%20A%20-%20Contractors%20Handbook.pdf


Page last updated: 5/6/2013 11:07:31 AM

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Special thanks to Jason Rotello and Tamika Jones for contributing images for the City of Rockford website.