West Peoria Township is in the legal process of discontinuing/abolishing the township with all rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations and responsibilities of the township being transferred to the City of West Peoria. This is beneficial to the citizens because the township’s obligations have diminished greatly since the formation of the City of West Peoria. The savings accrued by this will stay with West Peoria.
Township duties and responsibilities now basically include general assistance that helps people in financial straits with necessities including rent, utilities and other bills. The township only has four general assistance clients and has referred them to an agency in the county since the pandemic forced closing of the township office. There are also duties related to assessing property that have been contracted with the county for the same amount as the assessor’s base salary. A tax collector spot as been eliminated because the majority of taxpayers use electronic methods for paying their taxes. City and township boundaries are contiguous, facilitating this move. At a public hearing in August, it was explained this process must be completed by April 1, 2021 –– corresponding with Illinois townships’ fiscal years. The township closing will be included on the November ballot. Wording is simple and straight forward as determined by the state legislature. It will read “Shall the Township of West Peoria, Illinois cease?” The voter will respond “Yes” or “No.”
Due to pandemic restrictions, the West Peoria Fire Department has cancelled its open house and family day. The family day fire truck ride for children will leave a hole for many. It was always fun to hear the truck approaching filled with cheering and waving kids. Two generations of my family did the ride. The department still hosts Sandwich Days monthly in Haddad’s parking lot. Look for yard signs that tell when these days are held. Also cancelled is Boy Scout Troop 11 ice cream social. In addition, there will be no cleanup day.
Notice a lush, much improved lawn on your strolls through West Peoria? Nominate it for the West Peoria Beautiful Award. Nomination information may be dropped off at Haddad’s. Forms need to include: name and address of nominee, why they are nominated and your name and contact information. The award will be presented at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Residents’ Association meeting in City Hall.
The Western Avenue Greenway has scheduled Sept. 16 as a volunteer work day. The Greenway is run by volunteers and does not receive annual funding. The volunteers will be scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Come anytime during those hours and bring yard clean up supplies. The Greenway is a great asset to our community. You are welcome to do some landscape work on your own whenever you decide. The Greenway extends along Western Avenue from Main Street to Callender Avenue.
CityLink is continuing with restrictions for passengers. There are currently no fees charged for CityLink, CityLift and CountyLift in order to limit contact with drivers. All non-ADA riders board by the rear doors and must wear masks/face coverings. Regular schedules are now being followed. The CityLink board authorized purchase of Vshield driver protection doors to be installed. CityLink is remembering this, its 50th year anniversary, much differently but is still experiencing growth to better serve clients.
Sept. 7 will be a very different Labor Day this year. Remembering why this day is recognized as a national holiday will not be as evident as in past years. Thoughts of excessively long work days, safety issues and workers’ benefits and rights should still be reminders of other harsh times.
Take care of yourself and others.