By DeWAyne Bartels
When East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus started his State of the City Address on Friday he recognized Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis almost off the bat.
Then Mingus used words in his speech his Peoria counterpart would not recognize in connection to Peoria’s state — describing East Peoria as “exciting” and “monumental.”
“This spring there is going to be more than flowers and plants sprouting out of the ground,” Mingus said.
“We are going to witness millions upon millions of dollars of redevelopment that will transform a once unsightly, concrete wasteland into a beautiful, new downtown; a downtown that will result in great economic rewards for the City of East Peoria and our entire region.”
Mingus then stepped back from taking credit for East Peoria’s “exciting” present. He said the city is prepared for the future because of work done in the past.
Mingus thanked city councils of the past quarter century for laying the groundwork that has resulted in the city’s current economic development boom. Mingus called their work in pursuing policies of vision that would enhance the quality of life of East Peorians “vigorous.”
“They had the courage and foresight to make tough, yet prudent business decisions that have perpetuated the fulfillment of this vision,” Mingus said.
“These principles of economics adopted years ago and applied today are working.”
Mingus used sales tax receipts to illustrate his point.
“In 1985, the city netted approximately $1 million in sales tax. In 2011, the city netted nearly $11 million in sales tax and we project by 2014 this will increase to $14 to $15 million of sales tax,” Mingus said.
He then went on to explain what that means to the city.
“It means citizens will realize lower property taxes due to this additional revenue. It means we are prepared for the future, assuring necessary revenue designated to continue the highest quality and quantity of basic services,” Mingus said.
“It means our citizens will realize an enriched quality of life and a town they can be proud to live in.”