The recent announcement about closing Kroger grocery stores at Madison Park and on Wisconsin Avenue has impacted many people who shopped at both facilities. I attended one of the town meetings at Manual Academy where people in attendance were told of efforts to help by the City of Peoria. CityLink offered to help when needed. Four bus routes currently use Madison Park as a layover, enabling people who need to take a route from there and get to other facilities. One runs through West Peoria and would allow people to shop at Haddad’s Market and then return to their normal route. At the time of this writing, no true solution has been found to take care of the “food desert,” but some options are being explored. The ideal situation would be for a shopping facility to serve the same customers as before.
CityLink recently installed a new bus shelter for passengers at the corner of Swords and Rohmann. It was the final shelter to be installed this season.
Winners of the holiday home decorating contest were: Simplicity, 2105 West Sherman; Vegas Style, 2417 West Rhodora; Religious, 105 West Fairway Drive and Holiday Theme, 626 Coolidge Court. West Peoria Residents’ Association sponsored the event.
April Silver resigned as City Clerk in December. Mary M. “Margie” Barnes will be finishing that term that ends with the 2019 election. Margie has previously served the community on the ZBA and as Ward 3 alderperson so she has a history of serving the community.
West Peoria Residents’ Association has a change of leadership for 2018. Vice-president Jason Parry is president. The Board thanks April Dukes for her service to the organization as president. Projects and events are scheduled for discussion 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at City Hall.
Several vehicles were burglarized recently in the community as reported by Deputy Garen Demery, the new daytime officer. The vehicles were not locked; Deputy Demery stresses that all vehicles should be locked as well as yard lights turned on at night. Deputy Caleb Boyer is the evening officer. The next Neighborhood Watch meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 14 at City Hall.
Our County Board Representative, Jimmy Dillon, was recently recognized by Boys & Girls Club for his ongoing efforts to assist youth in need. Congratulations to him.
The Beautification Committee has several projects on its agenda to complete before spring arrives. There will be a meeting soon and volunteers are always sought.
Book Club will meet on Monday, Feb. 19. “All-Girl Filling Stations Last Reunion” by Fannie Flagg will be discussed. As the Page Turns Book Club meets the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Verify location with Loretta Fehl. Seniors on the Go will meet 1 p.m. Feb. 22 at West Peoria Township Office.
Haddad’s Market is further serving our community by being a location for a Little Free Library located near the front of the store by the office. LFLs encourage literacy and connect neighbors. There are over 50,000 LFLs world-wide. People donate books (in good shape) and leave or trade them with a different book at no cost. Children, youth and adult books are available and can be fiction or non-fiction. Littlefreelibrary.org allows a viewer to find locations and also register if they are interested in offering a variety of books. Nearby locations to West Peoria: 1607 West Parkside, 815 North Rebecca, Haddad’s Market and the CityLink Transit Center.