The Peoria City Council approved 14 items on consent agenda, with one pulled for discussion related to lobbying expense for city. Councilor Kelly asked for clarification of expense for two lobbyists in Springfield. City Manager Urich reported that with amount of state and federal funding anticipated, each lobbyist has expertise that would benefit city. Contract with Turning Strategies approved in amount $3,680 per month.
Follow up from City Manager and Community Development Director on elimination of various business licenses/regulations in city identified seventeen items that are no longer pertinent. An additional 17-18 more items anticipated to be identified. Manager Urich complemented Director Dulin, city staff for their work on this, as well as Councilman Cyr for his identification of this for small business owners. City manager also reported that $1.4 million from Department of Commerce distributed to more than 100 local businesses, in addition to $1.3 million DEA funds.
Representatives of Downtown Advisory Committee (DAC) made presentation to Council with recommendations on restoration of two-way streets in downtown area to increase economic development, pedestrian safety and compliance with sewer overflow plan. Riverfront Master Plan 2020 identified to resolve flooding, parking issues, ensuring green space and coordination with Peoria Park District, as well as coordination with Main Street redevelopment efforts. Wayfinding pilot with signage to help visitors get around easily last item covered in presentation. Funding efforts to include federal funds, grants, and public-private partnerships. Councilor Jensen asked that public meetings be advertised so community engagement and input can occur.
Community Development Director Joe Dulen presented 2020 census data for city to Council and potential impact on current council districts. Census results reported population in city as 113,150 residents, a decrease of 1.6% from 2010 census. Mayor Ali will appoint Redistricting Committee to meet to begin to address the proportioning of district boundaries based on census results. This process will begin after budget sessions completed with goal to conclude by March 2022. Director Dulen stated that the city has access to software to run scenarios for proportioning districts. Councilor Ruckreigel was recognized for his work in leading the census efforts.
Connie Romanus, Observer
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