Peoria City Council Talks Budget, Housing, Potholes

Jul 11, 2018


  The City of Peoria wants to modify its current budget because of expected shortfalls in income.

City manager Patrick Urich is suggesting the city impose rolling furloughs where employees would take 11 unpaid days off before the end of the year.

AFSCME Local 3494 President Rhonda Sexton met with Urich Tuesday on the subject and expressed dismay over the furloughs at the council meeting.

“To ask our members, employees of the city of Peoria who are not the source of the budget problems befalling the city to give up 11 days os pay so you can build a surplus of revenue in your funds, it’s just wrong,” Sexton said.

The current budget calls for a surplus to build up the city’s reserve fund, which has fallen well below recommended levels.

The city council will consider budget cuts at its next meeting in two weeks, on July 24th.

BUMPS IN THE ROAD:

There could be smoother driving on one of the more heavily traveled and rough roads in Peoria. The Peoria City Council last night decided to apply for a federal grant to rebuild Main Street from the Illinois River to Farmington Road.

City Manager Patrick Urich says the city will seek the grant that’s part of the federal “Build 2018” program. “It is a request of $24-million dollars of which $19.2 million would be federal funds and then we would have a local match of 20-percent or about $4.8-million.”

The source of the local matching funds has not yet been identified. The Build 2018 program is a competitively-bid process, with an approval rate of less than 10 percent.

PEORIA LOOKS TO IMPROVES RE-HOUSING EFFORT:

Credit http://alphastockimages.com/

All the residents of what was then-called 1505 On The Avenue were displaced last December. The city of Peoria had found numerous code violations, declared the building unsafe and fined the owner of the high-rise $50,000.

There was not a coordinated response at that time in finding housing for the residents. The city council Tuesday okayed a program to improve the re-housing process.

Community Development Director Ross Black says the city will use the $50,000 from the fine for a new program. “This seed money to start the program will allow the Salvation Army to coordinate that process for us so that anyone in a situation where they have to move out of the house because of no fault of their own but because the property owner has not maintained the property then they can very quickly move into another safe and decent housing environment.”

The same company still owns the 1505 building. The firm has paid the fine and is refurbishing the building. Once it meets city code, the city will issue an occupancy permit.

The company intends to market the apartments to medical personnel making the most of its location just north of the OSF HealthCare campus.

SIGNS:

 There may be a new electronic sign marking the entrance to Peoria Stadium along War Memorial Drive. The Peoria City Council voted eight-to-one last night to rezone a three-quarter acre site to allow the placement of the sign.

Plans call for a small “spirit” store on the property to sell school memorabilia. The project will be privately financed and not involve funds from Peoria Public Schools.