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New FY 2023 Budget Announced for City of Peoria

by Pleasant View
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A new operating and capital budget has been announced for the city of Peoria, and it’s 12.7 percent more than last year’s budget. The new budget totals $783 million and includes capital improvement projects and 24 new full-time positions for city employees.

“We always have funding sources for everything here, and I’m always really proud of that. I know that a lot of places have these big books full of wonderful projects, and they are not funded,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat.

The 2023 budget focuses on seven areas; these areas are called livability initiatives.

“We wanted goals that were not going to continue to change but also were meaningful that you could live with that made sense,” said Jeff Tyne, Peoria city manager.

Public Safety

A large portion of the city’s general budget is dedicated to public safety and the FY 2023 budget continues the city’s dedication to residents’ safety. To continue Peoria’s commitment to public safety, the city is purchasing a new command vehicle for high-stress public safety incidents; body-worn cameras for police officers; vehicle technology equipment; investigative equipment for crimes against children; specialized software for background investigations; police officer training supplies; and more advanced surveillance devices.

In addition, a new medical response unit will be created to reduce pressure in the city’s fire stations. Two new fire stations will also be built, and a sixth ambulance will be added to the EMS fleet.

Economic Prosperity

The new budget also focuses on economic prosperity. The budget will support small businesses through Pop-Up Peoria, the Smart City/Region Consortium, and the Small Business Development Center. There will also be a new program to help home-based businesses purchase new, permanent locations.

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Healthy Neighborhoods

To promote healthy and safe neighborhoods, the city is encouraging residents to utilize the neighborhood grant program, which provides  financial support for residents to improve their neighborhoods.

The city is also creating a new community engagement coordinator position and acquiring a second community engagement vehicle to help grow the neighborhood services program. Through the new engagement position and new engagement vehicle, more residents and neighborhoods will have access to services.

The budget will also set aside money for the homeless navigation and shelter services, and it will create an additional contract code compliance officer position.

Integrated transportation

The FY 2023 budget will include funding for infrastructure and a program for streets and traffic control. New staffing positions will be added to the city workforce, as well as a public works project manager and a street maintenance supervisor.

Sunday bus service will also be implemented on Route 106 on Peoria Avenue. Two full-time transit operators will be added to expand Dial-a-Ride and Americans with Disabilities Act service.

Arts, Culture and Recreation

Funding family-friendly and culturally diverse events is also a focus of the FY 2023 budget. New library technology, StoryWalks to promote literacy, and improvement of the library’s passport acceptance program are all included.

The budget will also be used to improve and maintain parks and community facilities in the city. To help maintain parks, a new park ranger position will be added to city staff.

There is also funding for art grants, art acquisitions, and public events. This is the first time the Arts, Cultural and Library Services department has been included in the budget.

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“We’re a big enough city that we need to start chronicling that we don’t want to lose sight of our history,” said deputy city manager, Erik Strunk.

$7 million of improvements for the Peoria Sports Complex is included, as well. The State Farm Stadium will host the Super Bowl LVII in February 2023, and the Peoria Sports Complex will be the Official Super Bowl LVII Operations Hub.

“It provides inclusion and community outreach for the city, and the city will be looked at as a venue for committee events as well as potential private events for the super bowl events,” said Andy Granger, deputy city manager.

Enhanced Public Services

In order to continue to provide exceptional public services to residents, the FY 2023 budget includes funding for an additional five water services positions; two new bulk trash positions; and an articulated tractor to help with waste pick up and processing.

Smart Growth

The City of Peoria believes that strategic planning creates a high-quality way of life for the city’s residents. To help accomplish this amount of planning, the FY 2023 budget creates more city staff positions tasked with planning the future of Peoria. These positions include: a principal planner position, an impact fee coordinator position, and a utility coordinator position.

The budget was reviewed by the City Council on March 30, and the budget will be adopted on May 3, 2022.

In addition to funding for the seven livability areas, the budget also includes an increase in health insurance of 3.2%.

“We were pleasantly surprised. It’s lower than that state and national averages which speaks to how well those self-insured programs are being managed by HR and by the consultants that help us with that,” said Peter Christensen, the budget manager.

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The Council and city staff hope the FY 2023 budget will continue to help the City of Peoria continue to flourish.

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