EAST PEORIA —
The East Peoria City Council approved a partial $1 million fix of the city's needy streets at its meeting Jan. 15, while at the same time acknowledging a $2.2 million problem.
EAST PEORIA — The East Peoria City Council approved a partial $1 million fix of the city's needy streets at its meeting Jan. 15, while at the same time acknowledging a $2.2 million problem. "I'd love to be able to spend $3 million," said Commissioner Dan Decker, who oversees the city's public works department. "Unfortunately, (the money's) just not there." The council agreed to fund the $1 million street maintenance program with $600,000 taken from the motor fuel tax fund, about $100,000 from the fourth year of a five-year grant from Illinois Jobs Now and $300,000 from the gaming tax fund. About $100,000 would go to pay engineering fees and not for the actual repairing, repaving and sealcoating of streets. No specific streets were discussed Tuesday. The city, along with its hired engineering firm, Patrick Meyer & Associates, will work out a priority plan in the coming weeks and put the work out for early bids this winter to take advantage of lower costs. Streets in East Peoria are rated on a 1-to-10 scale. Streets with a low number are in worse shape than streets with a higher rating. The plan for 2013 is to identify streets in the middle of the rating scale - 4s and 5s - and upgrade those to a rating of 8 and 9. "There are a large number of streets in this category (4 and 5), and improving those would make a dramatic difference in the city," Decker said. It would cost $2.2 million to improve all of those streets. Still, Decker said he was encouraged about the program, even if it comes with a shoestring budget. "Our problems are not out of reach like I thought they might become," he said. In other business, the council approved second readings on one change to the city's ordinances and another to one to its zoning codes. The council adopted an amended ordinance that regulates noise in manufacturing districts, bringing local law into line with the Illinois Pollution Control Board. A new table identifies frequency ranges and decibel levels and specifies hours of the day certain. Should future enforcement action and ultimately court action be required, this new language will allow the city to be more consistent with state regulations. The council also approved an amendment that changes the definition of the term "family" as it applies to zoning code. The amendment reduces the number of allowed unrelated adults in single-family zoning districts from five to three. The amendment does not affect group homes. The council also recognized Don Taylor, the East Peoria resident who was the first to suggest "The Levee District" as the name for the new downtown. Taylor received a night's stay at Embassy Suites for the winning submission out of 264 entries.