Categories: City News, News

Creston Road Closed – 5/15-17

City Engineer, Sam Tesreau, has announced the closure of Creston Road between Dement Road and I-39 beginning Wednesday May 15th through the end of the day on Friday May 17th.

Advance warning, barricades, detour and other temporary traffic control devices will be posted near the affected area. Please use caution while traveling in this area and pay special attention to the advanced warning signage, road closed signage and other temporary traffic control devices within or in advance of the work zone. We appreciate your patience during this project.

Categories: City News, News

City Seeks Public Art Proposals

The City of Rochelle is seeking proposals from area artists to provide art, in any form, to public spaces in the community. Proposals are due May 21, 2024, by 4:00pm.

Following the successful completion of a mural on the Hub City Furniture building located in Downtown Rochelle, the City has contemplated the idea of adding more art throughout the community.

“The addition of Mat and Mandey’s mural in our downtown has brightened the space, drawn more visitors to our downtown, and created a sense of community pride,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.

In 2022, the sibling duo of Mat and Mandey Steder completed a floral art piece that has served as the backdrop for numerous community events and even family photos.

City staff has discussed placing more art in a number of locations around town, but the request for proposals leaves that location open to the artist.

“We’re asking for creativity – if there is a location that you see as a perfect fit for your piece, please include that in the proposal!” said Community Development Director, Michelle Pease.

Art may be placed on City-owned property or on private property as part of this project. Maps of City-owned spaces and details on permissions for the use of privately owned property are included in the RFP packet.

Artists should include a budget in the proposal to be compensated for their work.

Click here to view the Request for Proposals

Categories: City News

Rochelle Fire Department Honors 100th Birthday of “Gertie”, Historic 1924 Fire Truck

Rochelle Fire Department Honors 100th Birthday of Historic 1924 American LaFrance Fire truck “Gertie”

The Rochelle Fire Department is thrilled to announce the commencement of celebrations marking the 100th birthday of its cherished 1924 American LaFrance fire truck, lovingly referred to as “Gertie.” This historic fire truck has been an emblem of courage and community spirit, faithfully representing Rochelle for a century and becoming an integral part of its heritage.

Commissioned in 1924, “Gertie” has stood as a symbol of resilience, bravery, and dedication, responding to emergencies and proudly leading parades throughout the years. To honor “Gertie’s” legacy, the lives she has protected, and the careful restoration she’s enjoyed, the Rochelle Fire Department invites the community to join in a year-long celebration of this beloved icon.

The festivities will kick off with the highly anticipated Fireman’s Ball on Saturday, April 13th, an evening filled with music, dancing, and camaraderie. This grand event will serve as a tribute to the courage and sacrifice of firefighters past and present, with “Gertie” taking center stage as the guest of honor.

Throughout the year, “Gertie” will make special appearances at various events across the community, offering residents the opportunity to view this historic fire truck up close and learn about her storied history. Watch for announcements and stay tuned to the local news outlets and Rochelle Fire Department’s social media channels for updates on upcoming events and opportunities to see “Gertie” in person.

We look forward to sharing this milestone with the community and honoring ‘Gertie’s’ legacy together.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Ange Gillis
Administrative Assistant
Rochelle Fire Department

Lt. Zach Prewett
Rochelle Fire Department


Categories: City News

Drive Merry, Bright And Sober This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for caring and sharing, which is why the Rochelle Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation to spread the word about the dangers of impaired driving with a “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Drive High. Get a DUI.” enforcement campaign. From Dec. 15 through Jan. 2, law enforcement across Illinois will show zero tolerance for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving to keep our roads safe and help ensure a happy holiday season.

“If you’ll be celebrating with festive drinks or other impairing substances, make a plan for a safe ride home before you leave for the party,” said Sgt. Phil Frankenberry. “Driving impaired is simply unacceptable. That’s why we make zero exceptions and arrest all impaired drivers. There are no excuses.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in the United States in 2021, a total of 13,384 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes each year from 2017 to 2021, with one person killed in a drunk-driving crash approximately every 45 minutes. These fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired — by alcohol, cannabis, or any other substance, whether legal or not — is potentially deadly and illegal behavior.

The Rochelle Police Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride-sharing service.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, pull over and contact the Rochelle Police Department.
  • Have a friend who is about to drive impaired? Take their keys and make arrangements to get them home safely. They’ll thank you later.
  • Remember to buckle up!

The holiday enforcement campaign is administered by IDOT with federal highway safety funds managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Categories: City News

Rochelle’s 2023 Old Fashioned Christmas Walk

Join us in celebrating the start of the Holiday season with our annual Old Fashioned Christmas Walk!  The event takes place Friday December 1st throughout Downtown Rochelle.  Enjoy the hospitality of our downtown businesses!

Carriage Rides Sponsored by the City of Rochelle
Museum 4-8pm

Santa & S’mores
Museum 4-7pm

Lighted Parade Sponsored by the Rochelle Chamber of Commerce
Lincoln Hwy 5:30pm

Community Tree Lighting
City Hall 6:00pm

Terri Schaefer State Farm 4-6pm

Adventures in Whoville
Library – Following Parade

Craft Show
VFW Fri 4-8pm, Sat 8am-2pm

Breakfast with Santa
VFW Sunday 8-11am

Categories: City Department News

Check Out Rochelle’s Decorated Haybales!

Rochelle’s creativity shines in the fall when local businesses and organizations decorate haybales as part of the community’s Hay Day fall festival!  Just over fifty decorated bales are located throughout and around Rochelle.  Check out the full map:

2023 Haybale Map

2023 Haybale List

Categories: City News

2023 Seal Coat Project Begins Monday

The City of Rochelle’s Sealcoat Project is set to take place beginning at 6AM on Monday August 28th and finishing by 4PM on Wednesday August 30th, resulting in periodic lane closures in several areas. No parking signage will be posted along the affected areas and vehicles remaining on the street after 6AM August 28th will be towed.

Please use caution while traveling through construction zones and pay close attention to traffic control devices and flaggers. No parking signage will be posted. 

Areas scheduled for seal coat this year include:

  • Tilton Park Drive
  • Westview Drive
  • Woolf Court
  • Portions North 10th, 11th and 12th Streets
  • Portions of 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Avenues
  • Lakeview Drive
  • South 10th Street

As a result of the long-term capital plan to address maintenance requirements, numerous streets and roadways have been identified for maintenance. The application of a seal coat surface treatment is a cost-effective way to maintain and preserve the life of these streets. Please see the attached map of areas included.

Categories: City News

Cooling Center Available at RPD

With the extreme heat forecast this week, the Rochelle Police Department located at 416 N. 6th Street will be available to anyone in need of a place to cool down.  Be safe!

Categories: City News

Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival: August 18, 19, 20

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival happens in Downtown Rochelle August 18th-20th.  Enjoy live music, food, carnival, car show, a parade and so much more!

For full details and a schedule of events, visit:

Categories: City News

Now Recruiting Firefighters!

The City of Rochelle, Illinois is accepting applications for the establishment of a Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedic Eligibility List. 

Applicants must meet and pass all requirements established by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. See Qualifications to Test below.  Participants are required to submit a valid CPAT completed within the last calendar year from the written test date, July 22nd, 2023.  


Testing Events Schedule 

  1. June 20th, 2023: Applications are available for download on this page at 8am using the button above. 
  2. July 19th, 2023: The Completed application and all supporting documents and are to be scanned and submitted by email to  by 6pm. Late or incomplete applications will NOT be accepted. You will receive an email confirmation after submission. 
  3. July 22nd, 2023: Candidates who have submitted complete applications by the deadline will attend the orientation and take the written exam beginning at 8am. The location is the Rochelle Fire Department. 401 5th Ave. Rochelle, IL 60168. 
  4. Week of July 24th (Tentative): Candidates who pass the written exam with a score of greater than 70 will be scheduled for an oral interview. 

Qualifications To Test 

  • Must show proof of being a citizen of the United States of America 
  • Must provide a copy of birth certificate 
  • Must be at least 20 years of age at the time of application, 21 years at time of appointment 
  • Cannot have attained the age of 35 at the time of testing (unless meeting an exception provided by 65 ILCS 5/10-1-7.1.c) 
  • Must provide copy of High School or G.E.D. graduation 
  • Must show proof of valid driver’s license 
  • Must provide a copy of Social Security Card 
  • Must meet all requirements established by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners 
  • All tests begin on time.  If you are late, you will not be allowed to test. 
  • Successful applicants must be at least an Illinois EMT-Basic, NREMT-Basic, or RN (Registered Nurse) by time of appointment. 
  • Must submit a valid CPAT completed within the last calendar year. 

For Information Contact: 

Lieutenant Zach Prewett: 


Categories: City News

Steam Plant and Caron Road Closures: May 1-30

The City of Rochelle and its contractor, Ameritrack, announce upcoming road closures in the Rochelle industrial area throughout the month of May. The closures are taking place while railroad crossings on Steam Plant and Caron Roads are reconstructed.

First, beginning Monday May 1 at 7am, Steam Plant Road, from Caron Road to West of the BNSF Railroad will be closed to through traffic. There will be no access cross the railroad crossing on Steam Plant Road through May 8, subject to weather conditions.

Following the completion of the Steam Plant Road Crossing on May 8th, Caron Road from 1st Avenue to Steam Plant Road/Wiscold Drive will be closed to through traffic through May 30, subject to weather conditions. There will be no access across the railroad tracks on this area Caron Road during the project.

Advanced warning, detour and other temporary traffic control devices will be posted near the affected area. Please use caution while traveling in this area and pay special attention to the advanced warning signage, road closed signage and other temporary traffic control devices within or in advance of the work zone. We appreciate your patience during this project.

SteamPlantDetour 1


CaronRoadDetour 1


Categories: City News

City Council Swear-In Announced

A Swearing-In Ceremony will be held in the Council Chambers at Rochelle City Hall, located at 420 N 6th Street in Rochelle, on Monday, May 1st at 3:00 p.m. City Clerk Rose Huéramo will administer oaths of office to John Bearrows, Bil Hayes, Benjamin Valdivieso and Tom McDermott.

A quorum of the council may be in attendance.

Categories: City News

NEW Rain Barrel Program Launched

The City of Rochelle is rolling out a new rain barrel program to encourage RMU customers to utilize rain water for lawn irrigation.  The program utilizes stormwater management funds to cover a portion of the cost of the barrels.

Rain barrels capture water from residential rooftops through the downspout.  Since they are made from shipping barrels that were used to transport food, they may be lightly scuffed or have small imperfections.

The City has partnered with Upcycle Products, Inc. where customers may order a rain barrel online and have it shipped directly to their home.  Two options are available – both 55 gallon – but one with an additional overflow hose.  The utility will cover $50 of the cost of each barrel, which is automatically deducted at checkout.  Limit one per address.  Customers are welcome to purchase additional barrels at full price.  In 2023, a total of 100 subsidized barrels are available.

To order a rain barrel, visit

Categories: City News

Rochelle Fire and RMU Host Joint Electricity Training Exercise

City of Rochelle departments recently had the opportunity to share expertise between the Electric and Fire Departments through live wire training exercise conducted by the Rochelle Municipal Utilities Electric Department staff last week. 

“We appreciate the unique training experience that brought working knowledge to our entire department,” said Rochelle Firefighter Tyler Carls.

The RMU Electric Department recently built a 7,970 volt trailer to demonstrate electric safety to staff, residents and schools.  The trailer helps to show the effects of a live wire on a vehicle or even through a mylar balloon, as the crew shared.  Fire rescue teams were taught how to safely rescue an accident victim from a vehicle that could be on or near a live wire and how to safely utilize the ladder truck near live wires.

“Our firefighters were completely engaged in the training and asked excellent questions,” said City of Rochelle Risk and Safety Coordinator Britt Zick. 

The RMU Electric Department is part of the automatic response during a fire incident.  One of the many benefits of a local utility is the ability to have staff on the scene of a fire or accident within minutes. 

“The safest way to pull a meter or disconnect power is to let the professionals do so,” said RMU Electric Superintendent Blake Toliver.

The Electric Department utilizes specialized safety equipment that is tested daily for its durability.  Even a miniscule failure, such as a pinhole in a glove, could be catastrophic for a lineman. 

“Each of our teams is trained in self-rescue.  If a firefighter is down, firefighters conduct the rescue.  The same goes for a lineman,” said Fire Chief Dave Sawlsville.

Nearly thirty people between the Rochelle and Ogle Lee Fire Departments attended the training event.  Electric safety will become part of a rotating schedule of training opportunities for the departments.

“Our teams take the initiative to be the best in the business,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.  “I commend our staff’s commitment to their profession and to our community.”

Categories: City News

Pavia Named Interim Police Chief

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh has selected Officer Pete Pavia to serve as the Department’s Interim Chief, following Chief Eric Higby’s retirement announcement.  Pavia is currently assigned to RTHS as a School Resource Officer. The City of Rochelle and Rochelle Township High School are working together to fill the Resource Officer position at RTHS.

“I look forward to working more closely with Pavia,” said City Manager Fiegenschuh.  “His experience and background have prepared him well to serve as our Interim Police Chief.”

Pavia has over twenty-five years of law enforcement experience at various levels of leadership including as a Field Training Officer, Detective, First Line Supervisor and Acting Chief.  Pavia holds a degree in Criminal Justice and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership.  He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

“The Department’s future looks very bright overall,” said Officer Pete Pavia.  “We have a young and eager-to-learn agency that truly understands their roles as public servants.”

Categories: City News

Chief Higby Announces Retirement Plans

Following nearly twenty-seven years of dedicated service to the City of Rochelle, Police Chief Eric Higby has announced his upcoming retirement from the Rochelle Police Department.

Chief Higby started his career with the Rochelle Police Department in August of 1996 following his graduation from Western Illinois University. Upon completion of the Police Training Institute, Higby was assigned to the Ogle County Narcotics Unit and then to the Patrol Unit. In 2001, he was promoted to Sergeant and in 2006 to Deputy Chief. In 2009, Higby was sworn in as Chief of Police.

“We’ve seen many changes over the years in policing,” said Higby. “I am most proud of the work my department has done to provide closure and peace to families and the community following a crime.”

In his years with the Police Department, he completed two elite training programs: the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy. He also served on the Board of Directors for HOPE of Ogle County and Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center for over ten years.

“My sincerest thanks to Chief Higby for his service to the citizens of Rochelle,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh. “A twenty-seven-year career in law enforcement is a proud accomplishment.”

Following his retirement, Chief Higby looks forward to slowing down, spending time with his family and having more time for hobbies.

The community is invited to attend a retirement celebration for Chief Higby on Tuesday April 4 in the City Hall County Chambers from 3-5pm.

Categories: City News

Customer Service Interruption: Friday 2/17

City Hall and the RMU Customer Service Office will be undergoing an internet upgrade on Friday February 17th beginning at 10:00AM.  Both facilities will be unable to process credit card payments during this period, but will process check, cash or money orders for utility payments, birth/death certificates and building permits.  Customers will continue to be able to make payments via their online account.  Customers who utilize e-mail address will also be unable to access those accounts during this period.  The outage is expected to last through the day. 

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we complete this important upgrade.

Categories: City News

2023 Façade Improvement Program Announced

The City of Rochelle, in its continuing effort to support the revival and development of local business, has again approved the Façade Improvement Program for 2023.

The City will provide a 50% matching grant, with a maximum amount of $5,000 to business or building owners who complete eligible improvements to the facades of their buildings. Improvements must be constructed within six months of application approval.  The City will match dollar-for-dollar an owner’s investment in eligible improvements to the appearance of their building’s storefront façade. The building or business owner who has funded most of the improvements must apply for and be approved in order to receive the 50% matching grant.

Commercial buildings that meet the following qualifications are eligible for the grant:

  • One grant per building in a five-year period
  • One grant per building or business owner every other year
  • Façade faces public right-of-way
  • Any code violations have been addressed
  • Property owner is in good standing with RMU/City bills
  • Improvements begin after 1/1/23

Examples of eligible projects include brick cleaning, exterior doors, streetscape elements, tuckpointing, windows and window frames, landscaping, painting, shutters & awnings, stairs, porches, railings, wall façade repair & treatment, exterior lighting, roofs visible from the street, original architectural feature repair or replacement, signage repair or replacement, or improvements for ADA compliance.

A complete list of eligible expenses and application procedures is available at the link below:

2023 Facade Improvement Program

Categories: City News

Winter Storm Information

With forecasted subzero temperatures, snow and high winds, the City of Rochelle and RMU have announced the following:

  • City & RMU Offices will close at Noon on Thursday, December 22nd.  Offices are closed Friday, December 23rd as Christmas Eve Observed.
  • The odd/even parking ordinance will come into effect with three inches of snow.  On even-numbered days, such as the 22nd, please park on the even-numbered side of the street.  On odd-numbered days, please park on the odd-numbered side of the street.  If off-street parking is available, we ask that it be utilized.
  • If your power goes out, please call 562-4155 to report.  Our call center offers both automated and live reporting and communicates information directly to our utility crews.
  • The Rochelle Police Department may be utilized as a warming center and is open 24/7.  The Police Department is located at 416 North 6th Street.

Be safe and warm!

Categories: City News

Leaf Vacuum Ends Friday 12/2

The City of Rochelle’s leaf vacuum service ends for the season on Friday, December 2nd.  Leaves and landscape waste will be collected via Northern Illinois Disposal’s weekly landscape waste pickup through December 15th.

Categories: City News

2022 Christmas Festivities Announced

The 2022 Old Fashioned Christmas Walk will take place on Friday December 2 throughout Downtown Rochelle from 4-8pm.  

The parade steps off at 5:30, strolling down Lincoln Highway.  Visit Santa and roast a s’more at the Museum from 4-7pm.  His reindeer will be parked at Terri Shaeffer State Farm Insurance from 4-6pm for all to visit.  After the parade, the annual Lighting of the Community Tree will take place with the announcement of this year’s Community Gratitude Award winner.  Carriage rides will take place again from 4-8pm with line up beginning in front of the Museum.  The VFW Auxiliary will host a Craft Fair on Friday from 4-8pm and again on Saturday December 3 from 10am-2pm.  The Library will host Polar Express night following the parade until 7:30pm.  Ralfie’s BBQ will be serving up their famous BBQ and more at the corner of 4th Avenue and Lincoln Highway.  Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at the VFW on Sunday December 4th from 8-11am.

Enjoy the hospitality of our Downtown Businesses with special events happening at: 926 Embroidery, Acres Bistro, The Artists Garden, Blue Flame Decor, Colonial Flowers & Gifts, Down Range LLC, The Fit Hub, Hope Chest, Hub City Furniture, Kennay Farms Distilling, Midwestern Clothing, Pickin Station, Scale House Lounge.

Christmas Walk

Categories: City News

Rochelle Intermodal Transload Center (RITC) Breaks Ground

ROCHELLE, IL – The City of Rochelle and the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation (GREDCO) today announced plans to open a new intermodal container yard in the heart of Rochelle’s industrial park. A groundbreaking event was held at the Rochelle Intermodal Transload Center (RITC) served by the City of Rochelle Railroad (CIR).

The CIR is a city-owned short line railroad that connects businesses and industries to both the Union Pacific (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Main Line Railroads.

“The Union Pacific Global III Intermodal facility abruptly idled in 2019, leaving local industries with increased transportation costs and shipping delays”, said Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows. “Today, we break ground on a facility that will serve as a cost-effective alternative to moving freight through the heavily congested transportation corridors in Chicago”.

The container yard will be operated by the Burlington Junction Railway (BJRY), Burlington Iowa. The creation of the intermodal container yard is a collaboration between the City of Rochelle, Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation (GREDCO), and the BJRY.

Richard Ohlinger, GREDCO President said, “For the past 40 years, GREDCO has been committed to enhancing economic development in the community. We are excited to partner with the city and appreciate their continued commitment to returning intermodal service back to our industries”.

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh shared, “We are excited to expand the Rochelle Transload Center (RTC), reduce truck traffic, cut drayage costs, and create revenue to the city that provides for expanded public services to our citizens”.

Intermodal service could begin as early as the Spring of 2023. The project includes paving the entrance to the RITC, construction of a 1,100’ x 60’ concrete lifting pad and constructing an intermodal container yard adjacent to the existing transload center.

Jason Anderson, Economic Development Director said, “The addition of intermodal services on the City of Rochelle Railroad, will act as a giant economic development engine that will attract industries who are looking for alternative ways to control the ever-increasing costs associated with moving freight”.

# # #

About the Rochelle Intermodal Transload Center (RITC) The Rochelle Intermodal Transload Center is a rail-truck transload site located on the City of Rochelle Railroad (CIR) in Rochelle, Illinois at the intersections of I-88 and I-39 and the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroads. The facility is near the largest population centers in Illinois: 25 miles south of Rockford IL, 75 miles east of the Quad Cities and 70 miles west of Chicago. In addition to adding intermodal services within the RITC, this facility can handle a variety of shipments including dry bulk, liquid bulk, dimensional, oversize, machinery, metals, and other commodities and products.

About City of Rochelle (CIR) Rail Service The rail system consists of three interchange rail yards, two transloading yards, twelve miles of mainline track. The CIR is capable of handling unit trains which can be stored and switched daily in and out of Rochelle. Along with the RTIC, the City of Rochelle Railroad directly provides switching services to 14 industries that include cold storage, lumber, steel, ethanol, dry food products, and a variety of commodities. Burlington Junction Railway (BJRY) operates the CIR, providing interchange, switching, and transloading services for industries in Rochelle with over six million square feet of Class A industrial space with the capacity to provide transload services to industries throughout Northern Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Southern Wisconsin.

Categories: City News

Veteran’s Day Memorial Ceremony

The community is invited to attend a Veteran’s Day Memorial Ceremony on November 11th at 11:00am at Lawnridge Cemetery. 

Categories: City News

Candidate Packets Available

Candidate packets for one (1) 4-year full-term Mayor and three (3) 4-year full-term Council Members in the City of Rochelle are available in the Clerk’s Office at Rochelle City Hall located at 420 N 6th Street.

City residents running for the office must file as if there will be a primary election involving 5 or more candidates for the office of Mayor and 13 or more candidates for the office of Council Member. If required, the Consolidated Primary Election will be held on February 28, 2023. If there are not 5 or more candidates for the Office of the Mayor or 13 or more candidates for the office of Council Member, there will not be a primary and the names of the candidates will be placed on the ballot for the Consolidated General Election to be held on April 4, 2023.

Categories: City News

2022 Seal Coat Project Begins 9/14

The City of Rochelle’s Sealcoat Project is set to take place beginning at 6AM on Wednesday 9/14 and finishing on Friday 9/16 by 4PM, resulting in periodic lane closures in several areas. Please use caution while traveling through construction zones and pay close attention to traffic control devices and flaggers. No parking signage will be posted.

Areas scheduled for seal coat this year include:

• 20th Street

• Avenue C

• Garfield Drive

• Lakeview Drive

• Avenue B

• Avenue A

• West 1st Avenue

• South 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Streets

• Avenue E

As a result of the ten-year capital plan to address maintenance requirements, numerous streets and roadways have been identified for maintenance. The application of a seal coat surface treatment is a cost-effective way to maintain and preserve the life of these streets. 

Categories: City News

City to Receive $1.1 Million Downtown Development Grant

The City of Rochelle is thrilled to be a recipient of over $1.1 Million for downtown redevelopment as part of Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois’ Downtowns and Main Streets program.  Improvements to our downtown attract small business, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for our residents.  Rochelle is one of just fifty communities to receive the award.

“I am extremely excited to officially receive word of the receipt of the $1.1 Million grant for our downtown. This grant will allow our community to continue to prosper and grow with some long-awaited projects in the downtown area,” said Mayor John Bearrows.   “Thank you to the State of Illinois and my hats off to our staff who worked very diligently through the documentation process required to achieve this for Rochelle.”

The City plans to construct a public restroom facility, add two additional parking lots and rehab several existing parking lots.  Also included in the plans is the continuation of lighting, landscaping and beautification projects that have been underway over the last several years.  The City’s portion of the project will be $306,000 and construction is anticipated to take place in 2023.

The Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Program is designed to support local commercial corridors, with concentrations of businesses that experienced difficulties during the pandemic due to declining foot traffic, tourism, and business from downtown offices. The program drives investment in infrastructure and public amenities that continue to fuel economic activity as more Illinoisans patron their local town centers.    

Categories: City News

RMU Billing Changes Happening in August

RMU Customers will notice an update to their utility bills later this month and in early September as the utility undergoes a complete overhaul of its billing software system.

“Customers have long asked for more detail in their bill and the ability to see usage data through an online portal,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.  “We’re excited to provide that additional service to our residents and businesses this fall.”

In mid-August, the first bills through the new system will roll out.  Once the newly formatted bills go out in mid-August, customers will be able to visit with their new account number to sign up for the new payment processor, paperless billing, online payments and to see their daily usage.  Customers utilizing ACH bank payments will need to update their utility account number with their bank to ensure the payment is credited properly.  Once the switch to the new system takes place, all customers will receive a paper bill for the first cycle, regardless of whether they have signed up for paperless billing in the past.  This paper bill will include the customer’s new account number.

While the change-over happens, credit card and ACH payments will be unavailable between August 12th and 22nd.  Credit card processing will resume through the new processor on August 23rd.  Since some bills are typically due during that period, due dates will be extended to August 30th to accommodate the change.  Payments may be mailed or dropped off at the office, either in person or through one of two drop boxes located at the front and back of the 333 Lincoln Highway building.

“We understand that this is a complex and sometimes confusing process,” said Utility Finance Director Sarah Brooks. “Our staff is here to assist customers in any way necessary during the transition.”