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Better Days Ahead By Denise Jackson, Peoria City Council 1st District

It’s been a rough year and a half with COVID 19 spreading throughout the nation as well as our local community. But God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As the 1st District Peoria City Council representative, I am excited about Peoria’s future! With the help of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act Peoria will implement nearly $34 million dollars in capital projects. Listed below are some highlights from the Peoria City 2022-2023 Biennial Budget.

  • $2 million dollars to assist with demolition of the old Harrison and McKinley Schools
  • $6.2 million in infrastructure (2022,) $5.1 million in 2023
  • $1.3 million for crime reduction (each year)
  • $2.5 million for neighborhood stabilization (each year)
  • $2.4 million for economic development (each year)

Phoenix Development also has several projects planned for the downtown area and the North Valley Neighborhood. Phoenix Development Executive Director Christine Kahl said the proposals will address the need for additional housing for the homeless.

  • 24-unit apartment complex at 210 NE Madison Ave.
  • Workforce Development Center at 234 NE Madison
  • 55-unit housing redevelopment project at the former Methodist College of Nursing
  • 16 apartments at the former Kenyon Architect firm

The Peoria Police Department will also hire 30 additional officers that will go through the training academy. Additional employees will also be hired in Public Works and Code Enforcement Departments.

During my campaign last year, I released a 3-step action plan. It includes upgrades to street and alley lighting, the creation of a storm water project on Martin Luther King Boulevard, and installation of signs, cameras and lights in alleys to stop the illegal dumping of tires throughout the Southside. The city manager has promised to commit budget money to address these problems. This Spring Public Works crews will begin remediation work on the combined sewer overflow problem. That work will begin in the North Valley and spread throughout the city. It will take 18 years to complete.

Phase one of the Western Avenue Road Redevelopment project has been completed. We hope to begin communication with residents and businesses within that area on rehab programs available to help them upgrade their properties. Phase two of the redevelopment project should start this Spring. The new Fire Station on Western is nearly complete and should open soon. These are just some of the projects on my list of objectives for the 1st District. If you are not involved in your community yet, please pray and ask God for guidance on what you can do to serve and make our city an awesome place for everyone in which to live.