EAST PEORIA — Many of the streets in East Peoria are in rough shape and need attention. But because road repair is expensive and resources are limited, few will get fixed in 2019.
"The needs are great," Public Works Director Dennis Barron said Tuesday night after the City Council heard its annual "State of the Streets" report at a working session of the council. "And there is not a big pile of money to go around."
For the 24th consecutive year, the city has used a rating system to prioritize what roads get fixed first, and what roads have to wait.
"That takes politics out of the decision," said Commissioner Dan Decker, who oversees the city's street maintenance program.
The city has about $1.1 million to spend on road repairs this year, and has determined where to spend the first $527,000 that will come from the Motor Fuel Fund. An additional $590,000 for street maintenance is included in the 2019-2020 proposed budget that will be voted on in early April. Officials are still deciding where in the city to spend that money.
First on tap for repair this construction season will be residential streets behind EastSide Centre; a couple of streets off of Meadows Road in the southeast part of the city and several streets in the southwest corner of the city. Streets include Ridge Road, Heather Court, and Oakwood and Valley View by EastSide; Vicic Aven and Roosevelt Circle off of Cole Street; and, Twin Oak Court and Hawthorne Avenue off of Meadows.
The city is searching for alternative methods of paying for capital repair projects — such as million dollar-plus projects on Illini Drive and Grange and Highview roads — including Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area Transportation study grants and loans.
"We need to find ways to take care of some of these roads that I don't think we can wait another year on," Decker said.
The council agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at its March 19 budget and will vote on its approval at its first meeting in April.
In other action Tuesday, the council honored 11-year-old Liam Oedewaldt, a 6th grader at Central Junior High School in East Peoria, with a Meritorious Award for his blanket donation drive during the past two Christmas seasons. Oedewaldt collected 97 blankets in 2017 and donated them to homeless individuals through the Peoria Rescue Mission. He collected 340 blankets in 2018.
Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.