The Peoria County Board held its regular meeting via face-to-face format on July 8th with all present except Members Pastucha and Bryant. A proclamation was read by Chairman Rand recognizing David Tuttle, former Director of the Emergency Communications Center, upon his retirement in June 2021 following 38 years of service. The regular agenda was short with the four items on the consent agenda passing on a 15-1 vote.
Two rezoning petitions (one in Princeville Township and another in Medina) were approved without opposition.
A recommendation from the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and the County Administrator recommending approval of an appropriation of unused grant funds from the Center for Tech and Civic Life in the amount of $19,430 into the FY2021 Election Commission budget was approved on a 12-4 vote following a brief discussion that included one citizen’s comment and one member expressing opposition to the resolution. LWVGP President Terry Kohlbuss was present in support and had written a letter asking the County Board members to revise the budget to accept the no-strings-attached grant money. Peoria Election Executive Director Tom Bride and Election Commission Chairman Matt Bartolo were present to answer any questions from board members but none were asked.
A resolution was unanimously approved recommending approval of a permanent easement for the construction of an overflow spillway at the Peoria County Landfill #3. The Peoria City Council had already voted in favor of this same resolution.
Under Miscellaneous and Announcements, Administrator Sorrell and Member Salzer spoke to the recent dedication of the “Final Salute” statute dedicated on July 3rd. Member Salzer encouraged attendance at the upcoming HOI Fair. Member Dillon recognized LWVGP for again assigning an observer to their board meetings.
Jim Runyon, Observer
Vice Chairman James Fennell presided at the Peoria County Board meeting's regularly scheduled second Thursday 6 p.m. board meeting with the absence of Chairman Andrew Rand. Member Windish was also absent. Board members and staff were sitting with social distancing and COVID masks in the County Building board room with members Salzer and Daley participating by phone. Members of the public could watch the meeting live via Facebook or YouTube and at different times on Cable Access 22. (Public comments were to be sent to the County Clerk by 3 p.m. on the day of the board meeting and would be read into the record.) County Clerk Rachel Parker read public comments from the following in support of the agenda item regarding the Hanna City Trail: 1) from Roberta English, Wildlife Prairie Park, trail will enhance the Park and be a benefit to the county; 2) Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, benefits of the proposed trail include recreation, added property value, tourism regional attraction; 3) Heart of Illinois Group Sierra Club, Rock Island Trail shows economic values and growth from trails including preservation of a green corridor; 4) Brett Baker, Bike Peoria, petition with 1,719 signatures in support of the trail and urge that funding be secured to acquire the trail.
The first Resolution was the Intergovernmental Agreement between Peoria County, the City of Farmington, Fulton County, and Village of Hanna City for the formation of the Hanna City Trail Negotiation Commission. County Administrator Scott Sorrel explained that the main purpose was establishing a body that could proceed with grant applications. Hanna City Mayor Winteroff was in the audience. The project would acquire 24.7 miles of right-of-way that has been rail-banked for years. Board member Sharon Williams was credited with her earnest work on this project since she became a Peoria County Board member and she would be the Board representative on the Negotiation Commission. The significance of this effort is the Federal Government has said this is the last chance for the trail section to be purchased as previous extensions of time have been approved. If the project cannot go forward the land will be released from rail-banking and sold. The goal is to apply for federal grant funding which will cover 80% of the purchase. Twenty per cent is to be a local match and state grants could pay up to half of that. The Board would allocate $170,225.80 as it’s pledge for the funding to come from the Keystone Fund, which is used exclusively for economic development purposes. Mr. Sorrel explained that trail projects like this are classic examples of economic development. Rural area Board member Paul Rosenbaum commented that he had a call from a subdivision resident near Wildlife Prairie Park who is on the subdivision council and strongly urged support for this on behalf of the subdivision. Sharon Williams spoke to receiving calls and communications in support. Board member Dillon thanked Mrs. Williams for her persistence on this project and gave his support. Brian Elsasser said this is a very worthy project as did Kate Pastucha. Vice Chairman Fennell said he had calls in support and others spoke to strong support. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand opened the regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m.
Board members James Dillon, Barry Robinson and Phillip Salzer were absent.
Mr. Rand announced the agenda schedule would be adjusted so the meeting could begin with an update from Monica Hendrickson, Director, Peoria City/County Health Department. Ms. Henderson gave an overview of the current status of COVID-19 for the county, including the opening of a joint response center for Peoria City and County, ongoing work of a strong policy group addressing a wide range of issues and ongoing public information. She said the virus situation is fluid and evolving and while it will not be possible to stop all cases, the goal is to slow down the number of those infected and protect the public. She commented that this effort will be a marathon and reviewed recommended procedures. Chairman Rand urged everyone to follow guidelines for hand washing and other protective measures.
The Consent Agenda had nine items which were approved. Five items were on the Zoning Ordinance and Resolutions listings. The first was a variance request for a cell tower that would be 255 feet, which is above the County Unified Development Ordinance limit of 200 feet for a non-residential zoning district. This was approved. There were two other zoning cases. Two Resolutions were approved: 1) a cooperative research agreement between the County of Peoria and Bradley University regarding maintaining the Pavement Management Program; 2) a resolution from the Board Executive Committee recommending County Administrator Compensation. Information on this last item was contained in a separate Agenda Briefing blue page available on the public table containing print-outs of the meeting agenda and board packet. A 2.5% increase was approved based on the performance review, along with a one year extension to the Administrator's current employment agreement.
Chairman Andrew Rand apologized for not beginning the Oct 10 meeting promptly at 6 p.m. due to waiting for State Representative Gordon-Booth, who wished to attend the opening agenda item. The first agenda item was the appointment of Brandy Bryant as the new Board District 5 representative. Rachel Parker previously held this position and resigned to accept appointment as County Clerk. Board member Steven Rieker announced he would abstain on the vote as he did not have information about the appointment prior to the meeting. Several board members spoke in support of Ms. Bryant. The appointment was approved with a vote of 15 yes, zero no and 1 abstain. The public seating areas of the board room were filled at the opening of the meeting. Much of the audience left after the appointment.
Mike Rucker, Chairman, Friends of the Rock Island Trail, spoke during citizen comments. He expressed concern about the village of Bellevue board being opposed to the potential rails-to-trails project from Bellevue to Farmington. Mr. Rucker said he thinks the project would be an asset to Peoria County off-road bicycle routes and for area recreation and tourism. District 1 Board Member Sharon Williams, whose area includes the Bellevue section of the proposed trail, commented that she was in support of the project and is looking into the issue.
The meeting Consent Agenda followed and contained eleven items which were approved. One zoning approval and a resolution for a bid approval followed and both were voted yes. The meeting was adjourned approximately 6:50 p.m. Joyce Blumenshine, Observer
The Peoria County Board met for its regular second Thursday of each month meeting on June 13th.
Board Chairman Andrew Rand and members entered the room shortly after 6 p.m. Chairman Rand
apologized the meeting was beginning late and explained there had been a memorial to recently
deceased member Dr. Greg Adamson. Flowers were in place at the regular desk location for Dr.
Adamson. Four proclamations were followed by the consent agenda and three zoning cases for
final vote, which were approved.
Joyce Blumenshine, Observer
The Peoria County Board met on its regular second Thursday of the month, which was May 9th, at 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of the County Building.
Although there were five proclamations and presentations, the actual meeting agenda was comparatively short. Most items were contained in the Consent Agenda and were approved. There were several other business items and a zoning approval. There was recognition of Allen Mayer at the end of the meeting, as the announcement was official of his resignation from the Board effective the following week. He and his family are moving to Springfield because of his job. His years of service on the County Board were noted with multiple statements of thanks. His leadership in many key efforts and improvements for the County were praised. Allen's wife Carey was present in the audience and they were given many comments of appreciation.
Joyce Blumenshine, Observer
The Peoria County Board met on April 11th,their regularly scheduled second Thursday of each month, at 6 p.m
in Room 403 of the County Building with Chairman Andrew Rand presiding. County Board has public
comments near the beginning of the meeting.
Two agenda items brought a large number of people and there were many commenting. One topic was a County Board resolution to the Illinois Department of Agriculture (DOA) with four proposals for improvements to the Livestock Management Act. Current state regulations do not allow counties any authority regarding large facilities confining hogs, cows or other animals; counties can only request a public hearing if the number of animals is above
1000 animal units; no assessment of adequate water supply is required for a new CAFO and CAFOs
have only a .5 mile setback from most towns.
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