PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali released a statement related to the future of the Peoria Rivermen in the city Friday.

According to a press release from the Office of the Mayor, statements made about a deal potentially being reached during city council earlier this week were premature.

Ali stated that no final deal has been reached at this time.

The Peoria Civic Center Authority does not have the ability to levy taxes, so they are reliant upon program revenues from the Civic Center and Hotel Restaurant and Amusement Taxes to fund operations and capital expenses. The Civic Center has $47 million of unmet capital needs as identified by their Capital Committee. The State of Illinois recently granted the Civic Center Authority $25 million for capital improvements, but more capital needs remain to be funded. The city has been exploring options to assist the Peoria Civic Center with their capital needs, including the ice plant, through additional bonds paid from Hotel, Restaurant, and Amusement Taxes.

Dr. Rita Ali

The Civic Center Authority and the Peoria City Council will be meeting on Feb. 28 to discuss additional debt financing. At the same time, the Civic Center Authority will negotiate a new lease with Peoria Rivermen.

Ali also stated that the lease is not the responsibility of the city, and she expects the Civic Center and Rivermen to negotiate in good faith.