EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — East Peoria Mayor John Kahl gave his annual State of the City “Eggs and Issues” presentation at the Par-a-Dice Hotel on Friday, focusing on the city’s accomplishments in 2022 and projects and initiatives for 2023.

Kahl touted a $70 million balanced budget for 2023-24, including $15 million in capital improvement projects.

“So to me, common sense, smart spending, grow responsibly, and that’s what we’ve done over the last 4 years. It’s allowed us to be in a good financial spot to tackle things that have been put off for so many years,” said Kahl.

The capital projects include $6 million in street improvements, of which $2 million are for residential areas, $1 million to dredge the Eastport Marina, and $1 million to repair century-old water and sewer lines.

Development agreements are in place for two new residential complexes that will add nearly 400 new units.

“The goal is to make it walkable, to have these amenities adjacent to where people live,” said Ty Livingston, planning and community development director of East Peoria

50 Blutowne is slated to break ground west of East Peoria City Hall. The 230-unit complex will also have 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

The 150-unit Riverview Lofts will be built between the former Granite City restaurant and Bob Michel Bridge.

Livingston said downtown living increases city vibrancy, which in turn creates more development.

“When people live in the area, there’s a lot of great opportunities. What we hope for is these projects are going to be catalysts for more residential and mixed-use development to occur,” he said

Nearby residents will bring increased business to the Levee District, a $100 million investment.

“We have a lot of the walkability components there. The key is to get people living here and that really reinforces the investments that were made by the city,” said Livingston.