Peoria County defers funding for downtown development group

Apr 10, 2014

The Peoria County Board deferred funding its share of a new downtown development group. Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports board members questioned the transparency and membership of the group:

The newly-formed non-profit Downtown Development Corporation aims to boost investment in Peoria's downtown and warehouse district.

It's members are to include representatives appointed from the city, county, Caterpillar, hospitals and other business officials. But warehouse businessman Pat Sullivan told the county board he doesn't have a voice on the new body, while the groups bylaws prevent anyone with potential conflict of interest from serving. 

Cal McKay is with the Greater Peoria Business Alliance. He says business owners like Sullivan can still be involved on advisory commissions:

“We think that’s the appropriate way to hear their voice and understand that. We think that eliminates the conflict of interest and still gives them a voice in what’s going on.”  

The motion to fund part of the downtown group will come up again at next month's meeting. Board member Andrew Rand says the County could also avoid membership arguments altogether by simply not funding its share for the group.