Government
11:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Peoria County OKs forgiving Tri-County lobbying fees

The Peoria County Board approved forgiving $63,000 in lobbying fees from the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.  Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports:

 The goal is to help the cash-strapped Planning Commission stay financially afloat. County Board Members Steve Morris voted against writing off the Ferguson group payments. He says forgiving the balance is pre-mature:

 “If they come out of this and they’re back in good financial footing a year or two years from now, I’d like to have our money back. To be there’s a difference between forgiving it, and actively trying to collect on it,” Morris says.

 The Planning Commission shares lobbying services with the City and County. Board Member Allen Mayer says it’s important to give the commission a financial boost:

 “What we are showing is a level of commitment to Tri-County that is making the banks comfortable in extending the line of credit that Tri-County needs to stay a viable, ongoing concern,” Mayer says.

 The Board also directed staff to explore changing the structure of the Commission. In other business, staff presented long-term recommendations to County facilities. They include courthouse security upgrades, and finding uses for the former Bel-Wood Nursing Home and Hanna City properties.