Peoria City Council postpones potential new sewer fee until May meeting

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A potential new sewer fee for Peoria is temporarily pushed down the line.

In a short council meeting Tuesday night, city leaders deferred a resolution to set rates for a new Combined Sewer Overflow fee. Council members postponed the action until its May 11th meeting.

Patrick Urich, city manager, said establishing the new CSO fee would be the city’s way of paying for its $109 million combined sewage overflow project as apart of its consent decree with the federal government. He said if approved it would go into effect in 2023.

However, Urich said since the city already has two existing sewer fees in place, Rehabilitation and Lateral, the city would lower the current Rehabilitation fee to decrease the financial impact the new CSO fee would have on taxpayers.

He said for the first four years, until 2026, the Combined Sewer Overflow and Rehabilitation rate should remain the same, but the Lateral sewer rate would grow about $2 per year starting in 2022.

Councilman Tim Riggenbach said the action was deferred until May because two council members, Denise Moore and John Kelly, were absent Tuesday and in addition to wanting all council members present, he said they simply needed more time to evaluate the resolution before taking a final vote..

“There just needs to be the time to vet this with the public because this is something, again for those of us inside city hall, we’ve been talking about this for years,” Riggenbach said. “But we need to make sure that our constituents understand that these rates are going down, these rates are going up and sometimes that takes a little bit longer.”

In other news, the council approved a special use permit for a sober living facility at 2419 N. Prospect Road. The facility has to be active within six months otherwise the petitioners will have to reapply for the special use permit.

Council members also approved hiring a consultant, Teska Associates, Inc., to examine and see if it’s feasible to create a Tax Increment Financing at the corner of University and War Memorial.

“The area has been vacant and undeveloped for at least a decade and exhibits many elements that city staff believes would qualify it as a TIF,” Ross Black, community development director, said.

City leaders said if the section is approved, city leaders will move forward with a redevelopment plan that would potentially go before the council in May.

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