PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Upgrades are on the horizon for Peoria’s riverfront as the city council approved amending the city’s comprehensive plan to include the riverfront park idea that has been put forth. However, there is still more to be done before the project becomes a reality.
Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said the entire project would cost about $26 million. While the state would supply about $15 million, that still leaves $11 million on the table for the city to figure out. Urich said that while the project is two to three years away from making any real progress, there is a possibility that some amenities may get cut.
“I think depending on the level of funding that we’re able to generate for the project, certain elements may or may not come to fruition and that’s something we would bring back to council and discuss as we move forward with this,” Urich said.
The project is still in the beginning stages according to Urich.
“What we have right now is an aspirational plan, a kind of vision that has now been adopted by the council,” he said.
Urich also said that the next steps are to make more comprehensive bid packages that contain elements of the park to be presented to the city council. The plans would stretch from the Bob Michel Bridge to the Murray Baker Bridge, about a 4-acre area of land.
In addition to the riverfront park approval, the city council also went over sign-on bonuses for EMT-basics and paramedics upon being hired. It was an idea presented by Urich and Peoria fire chief Shawn Sollberger.
Sollberger wasn’t at tonight’s meeting, but assistant chief Tony Cummings was and presented why it would be beneficial to the department. EMT-basics would receive a $2,500 bonus and paramedics would receive a $10,000 bonus. Cummings said the department can use it as a recruitment tool and a cost saver.
The city council also made minor changes to the city code regarding cannabis businesses and heard the annual presentation from ArtsPartners of Central Illinois.