Peoria County Lane Use and Infrastructure Committee discusses possible ballot question on funding
The Peoria County Land Use and Infrastructure Committee met July 25.
Here are the meeting minutes as provided by Peoria County:
PRESENT: Steve Giebelhausen - State’s Attorney Office; Scott Sorrel, Mark Rothert, Gretchen Pearsall - County Administration; Matt Wahl - Planning & Zoning; Jeff Gilles - County Highway; Eric Dubrowski - Finance; Andy Dwyer - City Link; Angel Marinich, Wayne Gensler - MV Transportation
Call to Order:
Mr. Dillon called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
Approval of Minutes:
A motion to approve the Land Use & Infrastructure Committee regular minutes from June 27, 2016 was made by Mr. Rosenbohm and seconded by Mr. Elsasser. A vote was taken on the motion and carried. (7-0).
Reports/ Other Minutes/Updates:
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Minutes: No questions or comments.
The Greater Peoria Sanitary and Sewage Disposal District Minutes: No questions or comments.
Unsafe Structures: No questions or comments.
Mr. Dillon moved to receive and file the reports.
Rural Peoria County Transportation System:
Ms. Marinich introduced the new Area Vice President of MV Transportation, Wayne Gensler.
Mr. Gensler stated that he is based out of St. Louis and has been in the transportation business for over 25 years.
Case 041-16-Z, Petition of Michael Cochran (D.A. Hoerr & Sons Inc., owners) A Rezoning request from "I-1" Light Industrial to "A-2" Agriculture. The petitioner proposes to rezone.232 acres from an existing 31.28 acre parcel in order to combine it with the adjacent parcel to the east side of Route 6.
Mr. Wahl stated that the owner would like to rezone a.232 acre piece in order to combine it with an adjacent property.
Mr. Rosenbohm made a motion to approve the rezoning and was seconded by Mr. O'Neill. A vote was taken and the motion passed; (7-0).
Peoria-Pekin Urbanized Area Transportation Study (PPUATS) Annual Agreement and Motor Fuel Tax Appropriation:
Mr. O'Neill made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Mr. Rosenbohm.
Mr. Gilles stated that this annual agreement applied to FY '16. Mr. Gilles explained that when the Tri County Planning Commission sent out the invoice, they sent it to the Courthouse and it never arrived at the Highway Department. The mistake was discovered during conversations about next year's budget. Ms. McLaren spoke with the Finance Department to ensure that this would not happen again. Mr. Gilles added that they had already received the invoice for FY '17.
A vote was taken and the resolution was approved; (7-0).
Mr. Dillon stated that the deadline for a November ballot referendum was August 22nd, and that a referendum regarding transportation funding was not out of the realm of possibility. Mr. Dillon added that there may have to be a special meeting in order to discuss this possibility.
Mr. Dillon then apologized for pulling a fee study resolution off of the agenda because he thought he would not be able to make it to the meeting. Mr. Dillon further explained that this item may have to wait until the September meeting due to the fact that there were some sensitive zoning cases potentially coming before the committee in August that may take some time to discuss. Mr. Dillon stated that if there was no objection, the item would wait until September.
Ms. Trumpe asked what fees would be discussed, and Mr. Wahl stated that all of the Planning and Zoning fees would be discussed. Some fees are proposed to be increased, while others are proposed to be decreased.
Mr. Sorrel stated that Metro Peoria would meet in Room 402 on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The only agenda item would be infrastructure and transportation funding and anyone interested in attending was welcome to.
Mr. Sorrel then took a moment to introduce the new Communications Director, Gretchen Pearsall. Mr. Sorrel added that Ms. Pearsall came from the Peoria Park District and that he was excited to have her work for Peoria County.
Mr. Dillon stated that the Tri County Regional Planning Commission was interested in coming before the committee to make the same presentation that was given in May at the FOLEPI building. This presentation would be given by the Tazewell County Engineer and would addressissues with Motor Fuel Tax funding and its distribution to local governments. Mr. Sorrel added that those involved with the presentation would be asking for support of a resolution that urges the general assembly to change legislation to reverse the current practices of IDOT regarding these funds. Ms. Williams asked if there was a bill in the state legislature that was already looking into this issue, and Mr. Sorrel responded that he thought there was, but he wasn't sure of the status of that item. Mr. Sorrel added that he would look into it and report his findings back to the committee. Mr. Sorrel stated that it is a controversial issue, which means that it could take a long time to have any movement. Mr. Elsasser stated that he attended the May meeting in East Peoria and brought up the state bill at that time. Mr. Elsasser thought he remembered that the bill looked promising at that time, and had passed in either the State House or Senate.
Mr. Elsasser asked if the schools would be putting a sales tax referendum on the ballot in November, and Mr. Sorrel responded that he had no definite confirmation of this information.
Mr. Elsasser asked if all the schools would have to agree on this, and Mr. Dillon responded that he thought District 150 could force a majority since they made up over 50% of the school population in the county, but he was unsure. Mr. Sorrel and Mr. Giebelhausen stated that they were unsure if this was correct or not.
Mr. Rosenbohm asked if there was enough time to put the item on the November ballot and educate voters on the issues. Mr. Sorrel responded that there would not be much time, but that there would be discussion at the Metro Peoria meeting about how the issue could be simplified.
Mr. Sorrel added that it might be possible to make a request for a 1/4% increase, which would not solve all funding issues, but would at least create funding for some projects that need to be completed in order to do a jurisdictional transfer to the City of Peoria.
Mr. Dillon stated that finding someone to champion this issue would be difficult, but that it would be ideal to get the issue on the November ballot because of a higher voter turnout. Mr. Dillon also stated that the county could hold some informational forums about the issue to educate people. Mr. Dillon added that roads are something that everyone uses, so he was hopeful that people would recognize the need.
Mr. Gilles stated that he wanted to give the committee an update on the Lancaster Road Bridge project. Mr. Gilles stated that plans for the bridge had been approved and were ready for letting; however, only 2/3 of the right of way properties had been acquired and there were five property owners that were not easily reached. Because of this, the project was delayed. Mr. Gilles stated that 60 day notice letters would be sent to property owners this week about condemnation of the right of way. Mr. Gilles added that originally the project was scheduled for a September bid letting, but because of the delays caused by property owners, the chances of a September bid letting were unrealistic. The bid letting would most likely be in November.
Adjournment: Mr. Dillon adjourned the meeting at 3:53 p.m.