The Watch | Council helps fund new fire station



Local governments grapple with Pandemic Year Two . . . alongside their regular business.

Peoria City Council started the Jan. 26 meeting wearing their Peoria Township hats by approving township expenses for January and February. A public hearing on the 2023-2026 rates for the combined sewer overflow rates elicited no comments. The Jan. 12 minutes were approved, along with consent agenda items including: 2021 city/county legislative agenda; purchase of outdoor warning siren for $42,216; extension of 2019 storm sewer repair contract with J.C. Dillon for $900,000; a three-year agreement with Supreme Radio Communications for electronic services at $123,577 annually.

Under planning and zoning, a special use for an adult-use cannabis dispensary at 5001 N. University was approved. A special use for a car wash at 1217 W. Glen and 4926 W. University was deferred, pending more input on traffic flow and community comments.

In regular business, the council prepped for a new fire station. It revised the 2021 budget for the South Village TIF Fund balance for $495,940 and Stormwater Utility Fund balance for $15,000. The total of $510,940 will help fund construction of Fire Station 4. D. Joseph Construction Co. had the low bid for construction of the new station, at $2,793,695.

City Manager Patrick Urich got a $5,000 raise, which can be allocated as a bonus, salary increase or deferred compensation.

First District Council member Denise Moore discussed documentation of minority sub-contractors and workers, as well as using minority workers for trucking needs and architectural design.

The Council delayed action to designate an Area of Urban Decay and remove certain properties from the East Village Growth Cell Tax Increment Development Project area. It adopted an ordinance establishing the Peoria Combined Sewer Overflow Remediation District and approved fees effective May 1, 2023, with planned annual increases through May 1, 2026. It also amended Peoria Urban Enterprise Zone to include properties including Galena Road Industrial Park and the former Midstate College complex.

Peoria County Election Commission met remotely on Feb. 9 with all members present except Mark Ketterer, who attended by phone. Preparation for the February primary and April general election was said to be going well. The Verizon bill for $67,000 — rather than an expected $4,000 — was due to a miscoding and has been corrected. Federal Warehouse was awarded the contract to move voting equipment for both elections. They were approximately $500 less than Mordue Moving & Storage and did good work in the past.

There will be no polling at the downtown library on Easter Sunday, April 4. The Election Commission office will need to be open that day because of state law. Ballots for the April 6 consolidated general election were sent out starting Feb. 25 to voters outside of the City of Peoria. (There are 306 different ballot styles in Peoria County.)
If approved by the county board, $19,430 of funds left from the Center for Tech and Civic Life grant will be put into the FY2021 budget. The Center granted an extension for use of those funds until the end of July. Director Tom Bride anticipates the funds will be used for expenses related to COVID-19.

League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria observers attend and report on local government meetings. Check

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