PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria County Board approved a measure that will allow the construction of a new Health and Human Services Campus that will house the Health Department and other agencies.

By a 15-3 vote, the board approved amending this year’s budget to allocate more money received form the federal COVID relief package that cities and states received two years ago to the project as well as approving a “guaranteed maximum price” of $18.7 million for the brick and mortar portion of the project.

With furnishings, fixtures, equipment and other “soft costs,” the total price tag is about $23.3 million. Board members Brian Elsasser, Steven Rieker and Paul Rosenbohm all voted no.

The new building will be built on the same lot as the current Peoria City/County Health Department location, 2116 N. Sheridan Road. In addition to the health department, the building will also house the coroner’s office, regional office of education, and sustainability and resource conservation department.

After the meeting, Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood praised the vote, saying he respected the “due diligence” board members had done to make sure the project would work.

“I have had multiple conversations with different board members regarding the project and spending, and I can assure you, I will continue to work with them to ensure the portions of the project owned by the coroner’s office will be done as efficiently as possible,” said Harwood, whose office will move from its current digs on East Gift Avenue when the building is completed.

The three who voted no said during the 15-minute special meeting that they weren’t opposed to the idea of replacing the existing building but rather, they had issues with the cost exceeding what was initially budgeted and that other buildings such as the Highway Department’s salt dome, the Peoria County Jail and the courthouse were in need of repairs and maintenance as well.

“I know we need the building. I have no qualms of that. But we need to do a better job, as a bard, to make sure we can take care of our buildings,” Rosenbohm said.