West Peoria News for March 2010

The West Peoria Neighborhood Watch will meet Wednesday, March 10th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Lt. Hartwig will continue his talk on self defense – don’t miss it. A Neighborhood Watch word of caution: Beware of door-to-door solicitors. Keep your outer doors locked – when you answer the door it’s more difficult for someone to push their way in uninvited.

The West Peoria Residents Association meeting will be Thursday, March 18th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Our guest speaker will be Rusty Tribe with Ameren. He will discuss Residential Energy Issues (Conservation Programs & Billing Options) the public is invited.

The West Peoria Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Sunday March 28th at Woodridge Professional Building on Heading Avenue. The Hunt is for children up to eight years of age. Registration is at 1:30 p.m. The Hunt starts promptly at 2:00 p.m.

The Annual Township Meeting will be on Tuesday April 13th at 7:30 p.m. in West Peoria City Hall. This annual meeting is mandated by state law to be held on this specific day and is an opportunity for all citizens to come and have a say in their local government.

Clean-Up Day will be on Saturday, April 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and is for West Peoria residents ONLY. Someone will be there to recycle electronics. Monitors are $5.00 and televisions range from $10.00 – $40.00 to recycle. Most other electronics are free. Please call ahead if you have a question. Call Kelly at 673-6919 or the township at 674-0462 for a list of what is accepted. Volunteers are needed.

Government Day is Friday, April 30th. This is a program for local students to visit both the township and the city to learn how local governments operate.

Troop 11 will again be selling trash bags starting March 1st. A box of 100 bags costs $15. Contact a Boy Scout or Bob DeSutter at 674-5668 to order. Delivery is at the end of March.

The 2010 Census will be taking place in mid-March. It is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to occur every 10 years. One of the biggest concerns from citizens regarding census data is the confidentiality of information collected. At times there is concern that information provided on the Census form will be shared. That is not true. The Peoria Complete Count Committee would like to dispel some myths associated with the Census. This month the Committee is focusing on the privacy and confidentiality of census data. Individual answers from the census are protected by law (Title 13 of the U.S. Code, Section 9) and are strictly confidential. It is illegal for the Census Bureau, or its employees, to share personal information gained through the census process with any other government agency. That includes law enforcement, IRS, Welfare, FBI, Immigration, etc. Your information is used to produce statistics and your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. All Census Bureau employees take the oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment up to 5 years, or both. No court of law, not even the president of the United States can access individual responses. With $400 billion allocated every year to communities throughout the nation based on population counts, the census is an essential funding tool for our communities. This is why it is vital that everyone in this region be counted.

2010 Census cautions from the Better Business Bureau. Be cautious about giving info to census workers. With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, in order to not become victims of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country.

Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States gathering information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data. The big question is – how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? The Better Business Bureau offers this to help you. If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, that person will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see the identification and badge before answering any questions remembering that you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home. Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if that individual claims it is needed for the U.S. Census. No matter what you may be asked, you only need to provide the information of how many people live at your address. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, you don’t have to answer anything about your financial situation. The Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or neither credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations.

West Peoria Storm Damage alert: From January 1st thru March 31st – The West Peoria Street Department will pick up storm debris. The City of West Peoria’s first priority is public safety. After a storm has passed the area, cleanup will begin. The City asks residents for their cooperation. Residents are asked to follow these steps in assisting with debris collection:

All limbs and debris must be placed at the curb (not in the street) within 5 days following the storm; place small limbs and debris in 30-gallon biodegradable paper yard waste bags, weighing no more than 50 lbs or; place small limbs and debris in 32-gallon garbage cans with handles, weighing no more than 50 lbs. Large limbs must be tied in bundles using rope or twine. Limbs must be cut to 4’ in length and be 2″ in diameter or less. The bundles can weigh no more than 50 lbs. All large limbs must be placed at the curb with the cut ends pointed in the same direction.

If these guidelines are not followed, the City of West Peoria will not remove the storm debris and it will become the responsibility of the home owner. If the storm debris is not removed, the homeowner may be subject to a fine for code violations. No bagged or piles of leaves will be collected by the City during storm clean up. Finally, residents are asked to please be patient with the cleanup schedule. Collecting all of the debris will take time. Debris pickup is a team effort and your cooperation is necessary to ensure that cleanup is as fast and efficient as possible.

Please remember that all streets in West Peoria are emergency snow routes. The following is the snow route/ parking code: All streets within the corporate limits of the City of West Peoria are hereby designated as emergency snow routes. It shall be unlawful to park any vehicles on these streets at any time within twelve (12) hours after a snowfall of two (2) or more inches. Where there has been a snow forecast of two (2) or more inches for any calendar day, it shall be unlawful to park any vehicles on any of these streets for that calendar day.

The Street Department Manager shall be authorized to take the necessary actions to have those vehicles which are parked on streets designated as snow routes in violation of the provisions of this Section towed away in order to permit the clearing of snow from the snow routes. The payment of any and all charges incurred as a result of such towing shall be the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner. (City Ordinance Section 3-3-5)

In addition to, or in lieu of towing the vehicle, the owner or lessee of the vehicle shall be fined $25.00 for first offense and $50.00 for second offense and for the third offense, the fine may be up to a maximum of $750.00. In all events, each day the violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.

The Street Department Manager asks that you please not shovel the end of your driveway until the plows have been down your street. This will save you the trouble of having to shovel again. 1) It is against City Code to shovel your snow into the street. Doing so only slows down the process of clearing the streets. 2) This City Code also applies to raking leaves or landscape debris into the street. When it rains this causes the storm sewers to back up.

If you see a zoning code violation: Please email: code-zoning@cityofwestpeoria.com or call Mr. Dan Sullivan at: 674-1993 or 370-1142. The Code Officer’s hours are: Monday-Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. All information is confidential. You do not need to give your name when you report a violation.

Sharon McBride

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