The Watch | Mailed ballots



Peoria County’s first vote of 2020 returned via Singapore, according to Local Government Observer (LOGO) reports from the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria.

By the time Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners met on Feb. 11, about 150 people had already voted — and more voters arrived at the office to cast their ballots during the meeting. Executive Director Tom Bride told commissioners that 540 ballots had been mailed. Seventy had been returned, including the one from Singapore. He said he expected 20 percent of voters to cast their ballots by mail.

Bride said his office is investigating a replacement for the current voting system, which was purchased in 2005, and plans to send out requests for information this summer. Obtaining a new system will not affect this year’s voting; the machines would not be replaced until summer of 2021.

Springdale Cemetery Management Authority continues to wrestle with issues involving its CloudPoint Mapping Conversion.

During the Feb. 18 meeting, Springdale General Manager Mark Matuszak headed an hour-long discussion of the process, challenges and delays. (According to the League’s observer, the project was supposed to have been finished last summer.) Matuszak offered a timeline for completion; final payment and monthly maintenance fees were considered.

Contacted by the Community Word, Chairman Linda Daley explained the complicated project — identifying every gravesite.

“It’s a 165-year-old cemetery that went through numerous ownerships and management changes,” she said via email. “There are almost 80,000 burials and over 254 acres. There are many layers of interment data to sift through and coordinate with our current cemetery data management system.”

About two-thirds complete, the contract cost is $57,500, plus a subscription to ArcGIS Online Software of $2,000. There have been three payments of $14,375 each to CloudPoint, per contract, and there will be a monthly maintenance program with them.

“When completed we expect it to be a great assistance to families as well as the public interested in history and genealogy,” Daley said. “Springdale is such a beautiful place and better managed than at any time since I have lived in Peoria which is now 46 years!”

In other business at the meeting, Matuszak suggested a Memorial Day celebration which would include luminaria at twilight on the Sunday before Memorial Day. The board liked the idea and wanted to be kept informed as plans evolve.

Peoria Housing Authority re-appointed members of its Board of Commissioners at the Feb. 3 meeting. According to the PHA website, commissioners are: Chairman Carl Cannon; Vice Chair/Safety & Security Commissioner Alma Brown; Treasurer/Finance Commissioner Kadar Heffner; Secretary Helen King; Resident Commissioner William Purham; Commissioner Renee Andrews; Commissioner Kim Furness.

Hudson Spears was hired as a program integrity specialist, a position described as key to monitoring compliance to U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policies.

Director Jackie Newman updated the board on the Taft Redevelopment project. She said the preliminary proposal has been approved by HUD. The full application is to be submitted by March 22. Recent HUD inspections showed improved scores and ratings at PHA properties.

During the Feb. 19 meeting of the Peoria City/County Landfill Committee, committee member Rick Fox asked for more information about a special waste product.

Foth Engineering was giving a report and Fox noted comments about the toxicity of manganese sulfate monohydrate. The substance was accepted at the landfill because it was not a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste. According to the LOGO report, the Foth review will turn down substances that can be a risk; items of concern can be brought to the committee. The gate audit check showed all procedures were in place and being followed.

Waste tonnage receipts were up for January — 13,168 tons this year vs. 12,200 tons in 2019 — which helped landfill revenues.

Chris Coulter reported for Peoria Disposal Co. (PDC). He said the request for proposal for a lake rehabilitation and wetland enhancement project was released in mid-January. The work is part of PDC’s future construction of Landfill No. 3. Coulter said four proposals have been received. PDC will meet with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources about the project.

On Landfill No. 1, Foth Engineering reported that bids for several of the larger repairs were expected to be opened in March.

For full LOGO reports of local meetings, check You might also be interested in the Illinois League’s Voter Guide, which offers information about candidates at

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