East Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – East Peoria Mayor John Kahl delivered his annual 2022 State of the City address.

Friday, in front of hundreds of community members at Par-A-Dice Hotel, Mayor Kahl shared a glimpse into the future of the city.

“People are ready to get back to some normalcy and there’s just a lot of projects in the pipeline, whether it’s events or infrastructure,” Kahl said.

Public safety investments

Among the projects highlighted is a $2.6 million dollar fire station at Illinois Central College, which will break ground this fall.

The station will hosts 4 firefighters and will be funded using $1.9 million dollars in state funding and $700,000 in city funding.

“Number calls have been up there for years, so it’s about time we start moving in the right direction,” Kahl said.

Kahl also shared plans to construct a new East Peoria police station within the next 5 years.

The budget for the project is expected to range between $17 million and $22 million dollars.

In December 2021, a space needs study for a new police station was conducted by FGM Architects.

“It was determined we need about 30,000 square feet now moving forward. So we’ve identified some sites, some are existing buildings we can renovate, others are new builds,” Kahl said.

Eastside Centre expansion

The City of East Peoria also planning to invest $6 million dollars into the EastSide Centre.

Kahl said plans include adding four new courts to the former splashdown site and adding turf to two athletic fields.

“We feel it’s necessary to reinvest in that with the amount of hotels, restaurants, and shops that we have,” Kahl said.

New complex near City Hall

Mayor Kahl announced the name of a new development that will be west of East Peoria City Hall.

501 Blutowne will feature 233 luxury apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

$55 million dollar complex, west of city Hall 233 luxury apartments and 10,000 sq feet of commercial space

According to the City of East Peoria website, East Peoria was known as Bluetown by early settlers in the 1800s.

East Peoria Chamber of Commerce executive director Rick Swan said making the city more attractive is beneficial for the entire region.

“When people come to East Peoria, they go to Peoria, they go to the Civic Center, they go to the CAT Visitor’s Center, they go to the Riverfront Museum,” Swan said.