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Community & Economic Development FAQs

Q: Can I take unwanted medications to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility?
A: The Household Hazardous Waste Facility will accept over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and insulin (no needles/sharps). It will not accept prescription medications. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will occasionally host used medication drives for these items.  Please visit www.knib.org for more information. Prescription pharmaceuticals may also be disposed of for free in a 24-hour secure drop box located in the lobby of each Rockford Police Department District station listed below.  The Rockford Police Department’s Drug Collection Unit sites are open to the public Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Citizens may drop off up to one, 1-gallon bag per visit, once a week. Medications shall be removed from the original container and placed in a clear, self-closing disposable bag, provided by the citizen disposing the medication.

  • District 1 – 1045 W. State Street
  • District 2 – 1410 Broadway
  • District 3 (Administration Headquarters) – 557 S. New Towne Drive

Q: Who can I call regarding building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing permits?
A: Building, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits are handled by the Construction & Development Services Division of the Community & Economic Development Department. For all permits, you can call 779-348-7158.

Q: Can I get financial assistance to make home repairs?
A: The Neighborhood Development Division of the Community & Economic Development Department sponsors a federally funded program for home rehabilitation in the city of Rockford. To find out if you are eligible, call 779-348-7162 or e-mail Susan.Diehl@rockfordil.gov. Please note the rehabilitation program is for owner-occupied homes only (no rental properties or contract buyers). Eligibility criteria and more information can be found here. on our website.

Q: How can I get assistance paying my utility bills?
A: Financial assistance on utility bills is provided by the Human Services Department providing funds are available. Contact Human Services at 779-348-7185.

Q: Can I get assistance on my rental payment?
A: Financial assistance on rental payments is provided by the Human Services Department or Rockford Township, provided funding is available.

Human Services Department: 779-348-7185
Rockford Township: 815-962-8855

Q: Can I receive financial assistance to purchase a home?
A: The Neighborhood Development Division of the Community & Economic Development Department administers homebuyer down payment assistance programs in the city of Rockford. As this is a federally funded program, financial assistance depends on the availability of funds. To find out eligibility requirements and other information regarding this program, call 779-348-7162 or click here.

Q: Can the City of Rockford help me start a new business?
A: 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 the economic development page. You can also contact Economic Development at 779-348-7162.

Q: Does the City of Rockford provide foreclosure lists for residential properties?
A: No, the City of Rockford does not provide foreclosure lists. Local Realty Agencies could provide you with that information.

Q: How can I get lien information on a property?
A: 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.

Q: How do I find out who my Alderman is?
A: Although any department in the City can tell you who your alderman is, you may contact the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7162. You can also visit the Alderman page.

Q: How do I find out about events taking place in the city?
A: Visit the News and Calendar section of our website for information about events taking place in Rockford. The links are visible from the top horizontal navigation bar.

Q: Who would I talk to regarding Historic Preservation?
A: Historic Preservation questions can be answered by Scott Capovilla from the Construction & Development Services division of the Community & Economic Development department. You can contact him at 779-348-7447 or Scott.Capovilla@rockfordil.gov.

Q: Who can I talk to regarding my water bill or water service?
A: All water questions can be answered by the Customer Service. For questions on your water bill, service, or quality call 779-348-7300.

Q: Where can I report broken tree limbs or overgrown trees?
A: 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 779-348-7260. If the tree is located on private property, the City does not have authority to assist. You would need to contact the property owner.

Q: Who do I notify about a pot hole in the street?
A: To report pot holes within the City of Rockford, contact customer service at 779-348-7300 or report a pothole by submitting a service request.

Q: How do I get on the bid list for City Projects?
A: For information on submitting a bid or getting on the bidding list for City Projects, visit the Central Service division of the Finance department website.

Q: Who would I contact regarding questions about my weekly trash pickup?
A: 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. You can visit the Neighborhood Standards page or call Neighborhood Standards at 779-348-7160.

Q: What does the Household Hazardous Waste Facility Accept?
A: We encourage you to view the Neighborhood Standards division’s sanitation web page, which has a full list of acceptable hazardous waste items, hours of operation, and the location of the facility. You can also call Neighborhood Standards at 779-348-7160 or e-mail us at NSComplaints@rockfordil.gov.

Q: Who can I contact regarding a Code Violation I received?
A: Code Violations are handled by the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department. Call 779-348-7160. In order to direct your call to the appropriate inspector assigned to your case, please either give us the name of the inspector listed on the first page of the Notice of Code Violation you received, the code violation number, or the address of the violation. Inspectors spend most of their day in the field performing inspections so the best time of day to reach them in person is between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the morning or between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the afternoon.

Q: Who can I contact regarding Sanitation Code Hearings?
A: Sanitation Code Hearings are handled by the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department. Please call 779-348-7160.

Q: Who would I contact regarding Voting questions?
A: The Rockford Board of Election Commissioners handles all voting matters. You can call them at 815-987-5750 or visit their website.

Q: Where can I take hazardous material?
A: 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.

Q: What is accepted at the Hazardous Waste Facility?
A: 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 the sanitation web page for detailed information and a list of acceptable items.

 

Q: Who can I call regarding street lights?
A: Any questions regarding street lights, please submit a service request.

Q: Who would I contact regarding Trailers on a property?
A: Questions regarding trailers on residential property can be answered by the Neighborhood Standards Division of the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7160.

Q: When can I put my garbage out for pick-up?
A: 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 sanitation page. You can also contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Department at 779-348-7160.

Q: When do I put away my empty trash cans?
A: 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 Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: On what holidays will trash not be picked up?
A: 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 Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: What is acceptable to be recycled?
A: 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. A complete list of recyclable materials can be located here.

For more information, you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: How do I get a recycle bin?
A: If you need a recycling bin you can contact Rock River Disposal at 815-965-2489.

Q: When are my recyclables picked up?
A: 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 Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: Can I burn leaves on my property?
A: 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 Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: Why didn’t Rock River Disposal pick up my garbage/lawn waste?
A: There could be a number of reasons your trash or yard waste was not picked up. Branches must be in bundles no more than 4 feet long by 2 feet in diameter. 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. No bag, can or bundle can weigh more than 50 pounds when loaded. Yard waste cannot be mixed with regular garbage nor placed in plastic bags for pickup.

For more information, you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: Will Rock River Disposal take large items?
A: 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. Bulk items are also subject to the bulk refuse rates listed in the City’s Fee Schedule that can be found here.

For more information, you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: Where should I store my garbage?
A: Refuse containers and garbage bags should be stored in a garage, shed or other inconspicuous areas not visible from the street until they can be properly placed at the curb for pickup.

For more information, you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic department at 779-348-7160 or view the sanitation page.

Q: Where can I put my garage sale signs?
A: 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 at 779-348-7160.

Q: Do I need a permit to have a garage sale?
A: 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 Ordinance Violations brochure at the neighborhood standards page or you can contact Neighborhood Standard at 779-348-7160.

Q: How do I report abandoned vehicles, boats or trailers?
A: Neighborhood Standards addresses vehicles, boats or trailers that are located on private residential property. The Rockford Police Department addresses these vehicles when they are located on the street.  Please contact Neighborhood Standard at 779-348-7160 or the Rockford Police Department by their non-emergency number 815-966-2000.

Q: How can I report a property with overgrown weeds or grass?
A: If you believe the overgrown area is 10″ tall or higher, you can contact the weeds hotline at 779-348-7161. You can also report the violation. Neighborhood Standards will see that the property gets mowed. Please make sure you have exact address.

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

If you still have questions you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7160.

Q: Do I need a permit to install a fence on my property?
A: There are many regulations regarding fencing on private property. We recommend you review the fencing portion of the Neighborhood Standards Brochure.

If you still have questions you can contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development department at 779-348-7160.

Q: Can I report my neighbors for not cleaning up after their dog?
A: Yes.  If the animal waste has become excessive and offensive, please contact the Neighborhood Standards division of the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7160 or email us at NSComplaints@rockfordil.gov.

Q: How do I find out if my home is designated a historic property?
A: Contact the Community and Economic Development Department at 779-348-7162.

Q: What is a TIF district?
A: 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. If you still have questions you can contact Jovita Donahue of the Community & Economic Development Department at 779-348-7419.

Q: How do I find out if I’m in a TIF district?
A: You can call Community & Economic Development to find out if you are in a TIF district at 779-348-7162.

Q: Do I need to give my name if I want to report a violation?
A: No, the Community & Economic Development department does not ask for your personal information, does not record your information in the computer systems, and will not inform the property owner of the individual who reported the violation.

Q: How do I become a rehabilitation contractor for Neighborhood Development?
A: 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).

Construction Rehabilitation Projects General Conditions

Construction Contractors Policy A – Contractors Handbook