Peoria City Council Observer Report
The January 25, 2022 Council meeting began with public hearing regarding creation of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, to be known as University/War TIF. There were no public comments, after three calls by Mayor Ali and the hearing closed with no discussion.
Consent agenda approved by Council members. The main topic of business for the evening was an update to the Council and public on status of passenger rail initiative (train speeds of 80-100 miles per hour), a priority of Mayor Ali. She has been in discussion on high-speed rail with Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood over the past six months. A committee has been formed with Councilor Ruckriegel and other local stakeholders, including state representatives, IDOT secretary Omer Osman, County Board Chair Andrew Rand, as well as labor and business leaders, and Bradley University. City Manager Urich provided an overview of Committee, rationale for passenger rail system, IDOT Feasibility Study (to be completed in April) and available funding through Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. A survey has been launched to get community input about the Passenger Rail Initiative.
The Council unanimously approved revisions to City Façade Improvement Program, which will be expanded to all businesses in Peoria with funds from American Rescue Plan. Senior Economic Specialist Kevin Evans shared that proposed changes would expand eligibility for program, increase fund limit and reimbursement amount for distressed areas. City Manger Urich will have administrative authority for this program.
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