Peoria County’s top administrator says 2013 was a year of accomplishment. Lori Curtis Luther says the County officially opened its new $45 million Heddington Oaks facility in West Peoria. She says the nursing home is a modern change from the former Bel-Wood building that lacked modern fire and safety protections:
“Now we have an opportunity to look at the reuse of the old Bel-Wood facility, and that will be on our list of items for 2014 to further develop what potential uses there are for that older facility and or that property that is around the old Bel-Wood facility,” Luther says.
Luther says another achievement this year was launching a new Integrated Civil and Criminal Justice System. She says the $6 million project modernizes a system to electronically connect attorneys, law enforcement and other officials in the justice system. The County Board also passed a budget for 2014 with a slight property tax decrease and no layoffs or major service changes. Still, Luther says dwindling motor fuel tax dollars could present the largest challenge for counties in the coming years. She says another goal for 2014 is to see results from the regional economic development effort called Focus Forward.