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Tax Abatement Program Deferred To Inform Residents Of Removal From TIF District

Cass Herrington
Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria City Council delayed Tuesday night’s vote for the proposed tax abatement program in Peoria’s North Valley over concerns related to the required removal of dozens of properties from an overlapping TIF district.

The council approved the deferral requested by 1st District council member Denise Moore, who said the city should use the additional time to provide information to owners of properties considered for TIF removal. Removal from the East Village TIF District would exclude those properties from utilizing TIF funds for rehabilitating existing buildings.

“They’re going to lose a benefit,” said Moore. “A benefit that some, I contend, may not even still realize that they have.”

At-Large council member John Kelly said those properties would instead become eligible for the new tax abatement program with their inclusion in the portion of the North Valley to be designated an Area of Urban Decay. Unlike TIF funds, the 10-year tax incentive would apply only to new construction of owner-occupied, single-family and duplex housing within the area.

“A couple of weeks to inform those property owners certainly won’t hurt,” said At-Large council member Rita Ali. “Let's make the people that are affected aware of the fact that they would be removed.” 

Kelly said the abatement was “good” for those property owners and that deferment unnecessarily prolonged the measure following low interest in TIF funding in the 10 years since the district’s creation.

“TIF has been offered to them as it has been offered to everyone in the TIF. They have rejected it consistently,” said Kelly.

2021 Roof Repair Program

Peoria homeowners have until 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 to apply for the 2021 Roof Repair Program. 

The program provides funds for low-income homeowners to cover the cost of roof repairs. The city will award funds by lottery to 20 eligible applicants. 

Applicants must have owned their home for at least one year, have active homeowners insurance, and pass an inspection.

The lottery drawing will be held virtually at 10 a.m. Feb. 9.

Program applications and details can be found at www.peoriagov.org

In Other Business

The council unanimously approved a $5,000 compensation increase for City Manager Patrick Urich.

Multiple council members thanked Urich for his work, making note of the unprecedented difficulties that have faced the city during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Your solid leadership throughout the whole thing,” said Mayor Jim Ardis. “We couldn’t have asked for more.”

The council also voted 10-1, with member Jim Montelongo voting no, to approve the allocation of $510,940 of combined TIF and Stormwater Utility funds toward the construction of the new Fire Station #4 on Peoria’s Southside.

Moore said the additional funds are needed to account for increases of construction costs since the project's original cost estimate in 2019.

The total $2.8 million fire station construction contract was approved for D Joseph Construction Co.

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Tory Dahlhoff is a freelance reporter based at WCBU. He's also the host of the food and farming podcast Food Trek.