PEORIA – Legislation designed to clean up coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal and power plants, and prevent local water sources from being polluted was signed into law today.
Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) was one of Senate Bill 9’s chief-cosponsors.
“Someone needs to be responsible for cleaning up the toxic waste around coal power plants, and it shouldn’t be local taxpayers,” Koehler said. “I commend the advocates who made this bill happen and the governor for making this a priority.”
A report issued by environmental groups in late 2018 found that the amount of coal ash in groundwater around the E.D. Edwards Coal Plant south of Peoria was 18 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard.
The Peoria area is home to three coal plants total: E.D. Edwards in Bartonville, Powerton in Pekin and Duck Creek near Canton.
Information and Congressional petition on "The Dead Zone" available (copy paste) at:
The monthly meeting of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission met on July 25 with only eleven of the twenty-one members present. There was not a quorum for a regular meeting, but there were enough members of the executive committee to hold an executive meeting.
The meeting started with a presentation by Jake Hamann of the Peoria Innovation Alliance. He told of plans for an Innovation District in downtown Peoria, as well as plans for Peoria to become a Smart City. Russ Crawford stressed that there should be collaboration between the various groups involved in these projects.
In regular business, the Commission approved letting a five year old line of credit expire since it was used only once and that was four years ago. They approved putting new salary ranges into the employee handbook and giving employees a 2% pay increase. That had already been approved in the budget. The Commission approved the use of a consultant to assist with a Regional Autonomous Mobility Conference that will be held in Peoria this fall. They also discussed the Strategic Planning Session that will be held on Saturday, October 5.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
Jamila Wilson, Observer
Linda Daley chaired the meeting, welcoming new Board Member, Pam Johnson.
Director Bride and his staff have started working on next year's budget. He anticipates an increase of 11.57% in total expenses because it will be a presidential election year. This takes into account an increase in vote-by-mail. He believes the Board will be under budget this year and plans to use some of the excess money to buy supplies for next year. The director will sit down with the County administrator at the end of July to go over the proposed budget. The Election Commission will need to approve it at the August meeting with the County Board voting in November.
There was not a lot of business to conduct since there are no pending elections. Commissioner Reed was out of town and Commissioner Burke arrived ten minutes late. During the discussion of expenses, Director Tom Bride explained that he wanted the payments for Ameren and the cleaners to be pre-approved since the bills were not expected until after the monthly meeting. This way he could avoid late payments since he knew approximately what those amounts would be.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
The Regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners for PHA was held on July 1, 2019 at 4:30 PM. The meeting began without a quorum. Council Person Denise Moore was present and discussed formation of Fair Housing and Fair Employment Commission. No further business took place until Commissioner Alma Brown arrived 4:59 PM.
Jackie Newman, Chief Executive Officer, discussed changes for PHA property at Taft and plan that compliments city revitalization plan. Commissioner Helen King asked if residents would be included in planning at Taft; response was affirmative. Harrison Resource Center will hold Grand Opening July 15. Resolution to approve early start development agreement with BEAR development of Taft Homes through Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program was approved.
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