Peoria City Council Observer Report
The PCC members continue to meet weekly to discuss proposed 2022-2023 Biennial budget, as well as, other business matters. Consent agenda of 8 items was approved with minimal discussion. Councilperson Jensen noted the CDBG public services funding includes support for survivors of domestic assault and stalking.
Joe Dulin, Director of Community Development, gave an update on restaurant license requirements related to Chapter 27 of City Code. This will be streamlined to be more business friendly. Businesses that fail to pay taxes to city will have increase in penalty to $5000. Councilperson Cyr was recognized for asking City Manager and staff to review outdated codes for local businesses.
The Council voted to freeze stormwater utility tax for 2022-2023; City Manager Urich is anticipating the rate of inflation growth will go down in 2023. The Council voted against extending the Public Safety Pension Fee, allowing it to sunset. The city collected approximately $2 million with the fee on top of property taxes. The council members acknowledged little control locally over the safety pension and recommended trying to work with legislature in Springfield and consolidated pension boards. This is an issue for most communities in Illinois and a lobbying effort may be considered. The public safety pension fund must be 90% funded by 2040. Councilperson Grayeb stated that some members around the horseshoe did not value public safety by not supporting the fee; Councilperson Ruckriegel was quick to clarify that judgement was inaccurate and unfair.
During budget discussion, Councilperson Oyler made motion to set aside $250,000 in 2022 and 2023 budget years as restricted funds to be used for due diligence of water works should the council decide to do so. In past, there has been criticism the council has accepted funds for due diligence from outside sources and this would allow for funding to be allocated. If the funds were not used for this purpose in 2023, they would be released to General Fund. The franchise agreement option between City of Peoria and Illinois American Water Company comes up every five years. Motion passed six to five with Councilors Allen, Grayeb, Jackson, Jensen and Mayor Ali opposed.
Reminder that you can check minutes and video of Council meetings on website: www.peoriagov.org.
Connie Romanus, Observer
video of meeting (copy paste): https://youtu.be/d3HhnSqQmy0
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