City Council approves plans that will address the city’s food desert and outdated transportation system

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PEORIA, Ill.– Peoria City Council leaders want to update an almost 20-year-old transportation plan.

Leaders said staffing and budgetary issues in the past caused the city to put the Thoroughfare plan on hold. However, moving forward, the city hopes to develop a system that ensures safe and sufficient movement for pedestrians and motorists throughout Peoria.

The approved plan is not a construction plan, but a direction for the development in the future.

We want to do things to make it safe in some of these areas where there’s four lanes and a lot of pedestrians going back and forth, especially around school zones.

Jim Montelongo, Peoria City Council

Also, the city is a member of the Building Healthy Communities Collaborative — a group hoping to improve health outcomes through the environment. Peoria will receive assistance as a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Local Foods, Local Places” program.

It’s one of only 15 communities selected nationwide. The city’s main goals include creating a food equity center that combines a grocery store, financial planning services, health screening facilities and workforce development.

I think this is a great start, I hope we continue to make this a priority. Food insecurity is a big issue in the South Side where we have a big food issue but it’s also a big issue for a big part of our city.

Beth Jensen, Peoria City Council

Council also made a decision to reassign duties of the Animal Review Board to the County Hearing Officer.

Currently, the Animal Review Board is supposed to hear, review, and decide complaints of nuisance animals and address animal control decisions surrounding impoundment, dangerous dog determinations, and reckless dog owner determinations. The city believes it will be effective to have a single hearing officer conduct regularly scheduled formal hearing compared to the original five-member Animal Review Board.

The Animal Review Board meets occasionally and has heard no more than six cases a year. In 2019 the board reviewed two cases.

Lastly, the council voted unanimously a Class B liquor license to Black Band Distillery. It will be located at 1000 SW Adams.

This story will be updated.

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