Absent: Commissioner Joos.
Mayor Mingus stated that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss an East Peoria Development Update. He explained that there would be no final action taken at the meeting. Mayor Mingus turned the discussion over to City Administrator, Tom Brimberry, and Director of Planning and Community Development, Ty Livingston. City Administrator Brimberry explained the economic development efforts in the region. He explained that Director Livingston will discuss development efforts in the region and in East Peoria.
Director Livingston presented a slide show presentation. He discussed the regional and county economic development plans. He discussion the focus of the Regional and County Plans, including job creation, wages, helping business grow, tourism, poverty reduction and quality of life. He explained that East Peoria is well-positioned to be a major player in tourism, transportation logistics and overall job growth through hospitality and retail, among other sectors. He explained that the City’s plan will focus on elements of the regional and county plans in which it has supportive assets. Director Livingston showed a map of current development sites around the City, as well as potential development areas. He discussed the types of potential developments within those areas.
Director Livingston presented a map of an established Commercial Core Area and discussed it. The map included the four corners area and others along E. Washington Street. Commissioner Densberger discussed getting together with the business owners along the 100 block of East Washington Street to assist with signage and other items to bring in customers. Mayor Mingus discussed extending the Levee District and including the businesses along the 100 block of East Washington into the Levee District. Commissioner Jeffers asked about widening Rt. 116/Main Street and when that would occur. Director Livingston explained that he was not sure about the timetable the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) has for the project. Those present discussed the aesthetics of the area. Director Livingston showed a map of the River Front and the Levee District Sites. These are properties that are remaining for development in this area. Commissioner Densberger explained that the Center Street area lends itself to the residential element that he believes is missing from the Downtown, and he would like a proposal for a multifamily unit. He discussed having grocery, library and transportation in close proximity to this area. He believes this would be the capstone of the Levee District that makes the downtown complete. Commissioner Decker explained that the only complaint that he has received is that there are too many national retailers and rents are too expensive. He discussed the need for smaller more locally-owned shops. He discussed the possibility of a small business incubator. He also discussed a theatre that many residents are requesting.
Director Livingston discussed the SC2 parcel off of West Camp Street that is the largest parcel that is available may be large enough for a theatre.
Commissioner Jeffers discussed the economies of scale and the costs associated with development in the Levee District and that much of the development is market-driven.
Commissioner Decker discussed requests for on-street parking along the 100 block of East Washington Street and possibilities for assisting with parking. Director Livingston explained that on-street parking was brought up at planning sessions. Mayor Mingus explained that on-street parking was taken away along the 100 block East Washington Street because of traffic and McKinley Street was reconfigured to a one-way street with angled parking.
Director Livingston discussed more affordable rents that are available around the four corners for more local, small shops.
Mayor Mingus discussed family-oriented entertainment and future attractions for East Peoria. Director Livingston explained that trails are attractions and will bring repeat users.
City Administrator thanked the City Council for its ideas on residential development in certain areas owned by the City.
Mayor Mingus discussed the economic development in the Region, County and City that compliments each other and works together.
Commissioner Densberger explained that they would like Director Livingston to research the development of a City Economic Development Council to assist in advising in economic development. Mayor Mingus, Commissioner Densberger and Director Livingston discussed economic development council for the City and including all of the stakeholders. Mayor Mingus explained that the City Council is supportive of the new economic development planning and future.
Mayor Mingus asked for any questions or comments from anyone in the audience. There was no response.
Motion by Commissioner Densberger, seconded by Commissioner Decker; Mr. Mayor, I move you that we adjourn the meeting.
Yeas: Commissioners Decker, Densberger, Jeffers and Mayor Mingus.
Mayor Mingus declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:42 P.M.