ROCKFORD - There's a second
lease on life for
The Midway Theatre's roof collapsed over ten months ago, back in March of 2012. The city and owner made an agreement to repair the roof by December 1, 2012, but the building is still in disrepair.
"The building is
very important to the city of
"It's a historic building that provides a gateway into our downtown area and our goal is to see that property be brought up to code."
An agreement reached on Friday was discussed by both parties prior to the scheduled hearing. The hearing never occurred, but rather both sides agreed to closed door negotiations.
"Mr. Crane and I went through the proposed agreement and he made a couple of suggestions for changes, which the city was gracious enough to accept," said Jim Hursh, Crane's attorney.
"Therefore they reached another agreement to continue work on the Midway and hopefully get it restored."
Part of the agreement, Crane will now have to show monthly progress reports on the building's structural soundness. In addition to those monthly status hearings, the city established a completion date of October 1, 2013. The October deadline only applies to the theater's roof. If either the monthly or October deadlines are not reached, the city will pursue action through another special code hearing.
"We will be seeking an entry for the fine of $70,000 and we will be pursuing Mr. Crane for a personal judgment in that amount and seeking to get the property in the hands of someone who can bring it up to code," said Cacciapaglia.
Crane's attorney said via phone interview, that it would be a lot cheaper for his client to just demolish the building. However Hursh says his client is committed to the restoration of this landmark.
"It's a kind of symbol, if you will, of downtown and he'd just like to keep it restored. He's worked with the historical society and other groups to see that it can be maintained and get it back up and running," said Hursh.
No word from Crane or his attorney on when they think the theater might actually be operational.