A quorum was present for Special City Council meeting regarding the proposed 2022-2023 biennial budget and other business. Meetings on budget are also scheduled for November 2 and 16th at 6:00 P.M. Minutes and videos can be found on city website: www.peoriagov.org.
Township officials asked Trustees to consider an increase in tax level of property taxes for 2022. Max Schlafley, Township Assessor, discussed decrease in levy annually since 2018; this was done to decrease amount held in reserve to 50%. An increase is of 4.5 percent is being requested for 2022 to maintain reserves and cover increase in services during coronavirus pandemic. Supervisor Leary presented ways the Township has decreased rent expenses with purchase of building more centrally located to residents. After much discussion, Trustee Oyler made substitute motion to maintain current rate not to exceed 0.0880. Option to use city recovery funds for Township could be alternative funding source according to City Manager Urich, if the requested. Motion passed
Mark Fenton gave presentation on Complete Streets and Active Transportation program. This includes redesign for walkability, access to shopping and safe streets for all users, as well as economic benefits. Pop up demos planned. Mr. Fenton is consultant for National Public Health, Planning and Transportation. Peoria was selected to participate in this program. See video of meeting for more details: www.peoriagov.org.
In other business, Councilman Grayeb expressed concern for ability to contain fires to point of origin and asked Fire Chief Bachman to provide statistics on this since Engine 2 taken off line. Mr. Grayeb asked the City Manager if there was funding in current budget to restore engine for remainder of the year; Mr. Urich acknowledged there were enough funds in Fire Department budget to accommodate this. Much discussion took place by council members regarding the timing, lack of information, legality of the action and overtime impact on budget. Legal council reported that city manager had authority via statute and city code to set head count of employees. The measure passed to restore the engine with six to four vote.
City Manager reviewed sixteen items in report back to council on budget issues for 2022-2023 Biennial Budget. More detail can be found online in meeting minutes, as well as video of meeting.
Connie Romanus, Observer
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