Peoria City Council Observer Report
A quorum was present for the regular biweekly meeting of the City Council. Consent agenda of 10 items was unanimously approved. Special Council meetings will be held November 7 and 16th regarding the Proposed 2022-2023 Biennial Budget, as well as other business.
The council voted unanimously to focus on redistricting based on census. Prior to the vote, there was some discussion regarding altering current structure of five districts with five at large positions to ten districts. Attorney Phillip Linzini presented an overview of the 1987 class action lawsuit representing Peoria Park District and Peoria School Board and City of Peoria for lack of equal representation in local elections. The outcome of this consent decree that has no expiration date. The result of this legal action was the cumulative five-vote for at-large council positions, as well as, school and park board positions.
The Council voted to approve two special use Class 4 (single family residence) short term rentals in District 2, with one councilor voting no. Concerns were expressed on maintaining quality of life in heritage neighborhoods, parking, number of persons allowed, and potential disruptive behavior with short term rentals. Guidelines on the number of short-term rentals in a district, as well as how close special use permits would be allowed in specific radius were issues discussed. Council deferred action on third special use permit to the next regularly scheduled council meeting by Mr. Grayeb to allow additional information to be provided.
City Manager Urich reported that General Fund Balance was in stronger position than anticipated in 2020 due to $10.8 million income from income tax revenues, state shared funds, and internet sales tax. Original projection was $1.2 million. The proposed capital budget is $34 million with focus on replenishing staff positions that had been eliminated including staff position, Public Works, Code Enforcement and Fire Department. Filling Police Department vacancies is also a priority, as well as thirty recruits scheduled for Police Academy.
Connie Romanus, Observer
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