Residents Voice Opinions About Taft Redevelopment

Published 02/19 2014 10:20PM

Updated 02/26 2014 09:10AM

PEORIA - One of the proposed sites for the redevelopment of Taft Homes in Peoria is creating quite a bit of controversy.

Wednesday night, residents came out in droves to voice their opinions.

Almost 200 Peorians filled Clary Funeral Home after the original meeting space was filled beyond capacity.

The Peoria Housing Authority is looking to redevelop Taft Homes into several smaller sites, including one possibly located on the 2700 block of Lake Avenue near Westlake Shopping Center.

The meeting was interrupted repeatedly by angry outbursts and applause from the crowd as local police and board members answered questions ranging from crime statistics to property values.

One resident said, “I guess it boils down to money for us here because this is our property. This is what we paid for. It makes a big difference for us on property values.”

Peoria City Councilmember Jim Montelongo adds, “There’s no sidewalk in the area. There’s no school or playground down there. There is no public transportation that comes through the area.”

“It’s not a done deal,” adds PHA Board Chairman Ken Zika. “We are looking at other properties as well. We’re just not as far along in the process as this one and Greenly School. We are getting there. We want to hear what people have to say. Everybody wants to say where they shouldn’t go. We have to find some places where they should go.”

The PHA will hold another public meeting Thursday, February 20th at the Gateway Building downtown.

That meeting begins at 5:30 P.M.

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