Superintendent of Human Resources, Shaleese Pie, reported on the ongoing process to fill 230 full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Staff have attended a good number of high schools and career fairs to recruit with more opportunities for recruitment in the future. PPD is using its website and various media sources, including Facebook, to promote its values and priorities. On the PPD website there is a listing of all job openings on an interactive interface with benefits and information on the hiring process.
In other business, a question from Trustee Petty concerning selecting the bidder on several commodity purchases, using the diversity policy in place, lead to a discussion about the applicability on the provisions of the policy in this instance. It was decided that the DEI (Diversity Equality Inclusion) ad hoc committee would take up the clarification of this policy as it pertains to future bidding for both services and commodities.
Trustee Bertschy was absent. All other trustees were present in person or via Facebook. The meeting was called to order at 6:10 and adjourned at 7:30.
Peoria City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement regarding tax collection duties with Peoria County Treasurer and Peoria Township Collector. Stephen Morris, city treasurer and township collector, explained that Peoria is the last County to have a township collect property taxes and recommended that city hall no longer collect these taxes, saving $40,000 annually. Beginning in May, property taxes will all be paid to Peoria County Treasurer (at the Peoria courthouse) or local participating banks. Nicole Bjerke is the County Treasurer. This impacts few people who had paid their real estate taxes in person at City Hall and will be able to pay in person at Peoria Courthouse (down the street.) Most taxpayers pay via their mortgage, at a bank, or by mail which already goes to the County Treasurer.
All Trustees attended either in person or virtually. The Investment Committee Meeting report- the $5-6million dollars will be laddered for needed times, but rates are still very low.
The Board of Trustees Meeting had one guest whose volunteer work for the St Vincent de Paul society at a local church led her to ask that the GPSD bills also be sent to renters. Currently only the owners receive the bill from GPSD. But utilities may be the renters’ responsibility. When a notice finally does come to the renter it is a notice of approaching water shutoff and may be hundreds of dollars overdue. GPSD is aware of this and is looking into solutions, but extremely low-income households may not have a computer or internet access for electronic bills. Staff pointed out that GPSD has a link on their website to Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) which is a partial one-time solution.
· The public hearing on the 2022-23 Budget will be on Tuesday April 18. Afterwards the trustees will vote on the budget. Fuel and chemical expenses are much higher now which is reflected in the budget.
· Two employees were promoted from within to new positions and two interns are budgeted.
· GPSD has applied for a FEMA BRIC grant to cover 70% of their Levee Improvements Project. The project involves changing the height and slope of the levee which surrounds the GPSD plant, relocation of the maintenance garage, Kickapoo Interceptor Control Structure, and Effluent Channel Control Structure. This project is needed to meet the FEMA requirement for a 100-year flood event. Flooding has increased and on one occasion when the river reached 29 feet, employees had to take a boat to get to the plant.
· There were no overflows in February in the GPSD system. There was one combined sewer discharge on February 16 with .73inches of rain in the city owned combined water/sewer system.
· There were no sanitary sewer backups in February within the District-owned sanitary sewer collection system.
· A six-year generator maintenance agreement was approved to maximize the service life of their emergency standby generators.
· Trustees thanked staff for participation in an ongoing national sewage tracking project described in a Saturday March 12 Peoria Journal Star article: Sewage might track down next COVID-19 outbreak (by Leslie Renken) https://peoriajournalstar-il.newsmemory.com?selDate=20220312&goTo=A01&artid=3
Cheryl Budzinski, Observer
Springdale Cemetery Observer Report March 15, 2022
Chair Pam Johnson and 3 trustees were in person, two trustees participated by phone and one was absent.
General Manager Matuszak talked about the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) approved unanimously by the City Council, Park District and County Board after months of negotiation. The major changes from the original IGA (Sept 2002) are: the County will increase its contribution from $60,000/year to double that gradually starting at $102,000 annually to $120,000 annually in 8 years. The city averaged about $230,000 per year. The Park District continues at $40,000 annually. However, since the Savannah is important to the Park District, PPD will buy the Savannah for $1 and will maintain the Savannah – costing about $20,000 annually. (The Savannah is on the National Register of Historic Places. The new Scattering Garden is in the wooded part of the Savannah property.) Another change is the number of trustees each governmental unit appoints to the Springdale Cemetery Management Authority. Effective in September, the City will have 5 trustees, County will have 2 trustees, the Park District and Foundation will each have 1 trustee. The Foundation will have a $25,000 annual donation due to the cemetery.
Matuszak needs 6 committed volunteers to maintain Soldiers Hill every week. Some of the original volunteers are in their 90’s.
They are awaiting two awarded state grants and have a bequest to be settled soon. The grants will be used for infrastructure - roads are in “total disrepair” (6 miles of road with 2.5 miles being rated “fair to good” and 3.5 miles in “bad shape.”) The roads originally were built to a variety of standards (or none.) The concept for the road repair including the type of materials is under discussion.
Trash cans around the cemetery are being replaced by donated, painted used ones in good shape.
The Foundation will revamp their newsletter and website and will have a variety of activities in the cemetery.
The cemetery has $407,000 in their designated (restricted, endowment-type) fund.
The Peoria County Board held its regular meeting March 10th with all present but Member Rosenbohm.
One Citizen’s Remark in support of the pending Springdale Cemetery agreement and preservation of the savannah under the pending care of the Peoria Park District.
The Consent agenda passed on a vote of 17-0 without discussion but two items were voted on separately to allow members to abstain due to possible conflicts of interest. Among approved items were:
Link to the meeting agenda and video are here:
The trustees of the PPD board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the 2022 Springdale Cemetery Intergovernmental Agreement between the PPD, the City of Peoria, and the County of Peoria. Under the agreement the city will subdivide and sell the area of the savanna at Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum to the PPD for $1.00. This area will be put into permanent environmental stewardship at the Park District’s cost. The agreement is for ten years with the option to extend an additional ten years. The Peoria City Council approved the agreement prior to the PPD board meeting and the Peoria County Board will vote on it March 10, 2022.
In other business Jacob Kuban reported on the process the PPD has gone through to receive Level 1 accreditation from the Morton Arboretum’s Arbnet for the Donovan Park Arboretum. Signage is being developed to identify 25 tree species in high traffic areas of the park. A tree planting will be held Friday, April 29 in conjunction with Earth Day. All trustees were present in person/via Zoom. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 and adjourned at 6:45.
Highlights of the March 8 meeting:
The Peoria County Board of Election Commissioners met Tuesday, March 8, 2022, with Commissioners Manning, Williamson, and Bartolo present. The Commission website now lists candidates who have filed for various positions in the County, including Peoria School District 150. Filings are scheduled to close on Monday, March 14, at 5:00. Everyone who was in line at 8:00 am on the 7th and has an opponent will go into a lottery to determine whose name appears first on the ballot.
The new voting system has arrived except for a few pieces that were to arrive later that week. First, everything will be tested to assure they are working properly. This includes voting equipment, printers, and other equipment. The following week staff will be trained on the equipment. Training for judges will take place in April, followed by a mock election mid-month.
Pollbooks will be tested around the first of April.
After attending a run through of the equipment in DuPage County last month, Director Tom Bride said the slowest point of the election process is checkin. There are also discussions on ways to work with handicapped voters. The old equipment goes back to the vendor for recycling.
The only legislation in the works concerns tweeks and the clean up of language in previous bills.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
March 7 PHA Board of Commissioners’ meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. by Chairman Carl Cannon. There were no community comments or Family Self Sufficiency graduates.
Minutes of regular meeting open session of Feb. 7, 9 and 10 were approved, as well as closed session minutes for those dates. As of March 17, the approved minutes of the Jan. 3 meeting were not posted.
The consent agenda was approved unanimously.
Chief Executive Officer Jackie Newman reported demolition of Taft Homes is in progress after hard work by staff and should be completed in 2022. She also noted disposition of properties vacant for approximately 10 years was approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These properties couldn’t be rehabbed and will be removed from PHA property list.
There was no discussion on the search for CEO.
This observer was not able to find any of the meeting reports for viewing.
The Board went into closed session at 4:47 P.M. to discuss issues related to purchase or lease of real estate or the setting of a price for sale or lease of real estate.
The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners will be at 4:30 p.m. April 4. Agendas are posted on website: www peoriahousing.org.
Connie Romanus, Observer
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