Public Input: Cheryl Budzinski commented that the commission website was difficult to navigate and that it affected transparency and the ability to access FOIA forms and information.
Executive Director report: Outreach activities were expanding with mayors and boards of approx. 15 -16 communities contacted over the last 6 months to find out how the commission can be of assistance
The commission approved a total of 2.5% salary increase based on merit for full time employees (a lump sum total of $9276). A member from Woodford County objected because Woodford County was only giving its employees a 2% increase.
A presentation was given on the Peoria Lakes Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Members include representatives from the Tri County Regional Planning Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, Nature Conservancy, Heartland Water Resources Council, and Peoria Lakes Basin Alliance. The first public meeting for input with a staff presentation was held at the Ivy Club on 7/13/2017 after it was advertised on WTVP July 6-9. Another meeting will be held in the Quad Cities in January, 2018. Information for this group can be accessed at PartakeinPeoriaLakes.org.
A report was given on Peoria Pekin Urban Area Transportation Study (PUATS) projects that prioritizes the use of federal highway funds for grants for road construction and maintenance. Projects for years 2021 & 2022 have already been approved. There was a discussion about the scoring process that minimizes personal bias in the decision.
The report on the Greater Peoria Multi Modal Freight Study was given. The study was originated to look at a development in Pekin, but the focus shifted to Peoria in 2016. Tioga Group was contracted as the consultant in March 2017. A kickoff meeting was held on May 22, 2017. The focus will be on container shipments of soybeans and grain to China. Discussions are continuing with USDOT, IDOT, Illinois Soybean Assn, Dan Silverthorn of TransPort, and the Port Authority in Granite City.
Russ Crawford questioned if the revenue stream for this project had been properly considered. Eric Miller assured him that a cautious approach has been taken.
The purchase of annual maintenance of GIS software by ESRI for $13,900 and GIS support for El Paso of up to $5000 was approved.
Michael Savoie, Observer
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