Peoria County increases demand for veterans' assistance services
The Peoria County Executive Committee met Aug. 11 to increase the demand for veterans' assistance services.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the committee:
August 11, 2016
Call to Order
Chairman Rand called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m.
A motion to approve was made by Mr. O'Neill and seconded by Mr. Fennell. Mr. Sorrel advised
that the referendum question for the November ballot is for the creation of a special county
retailers occupation tax for transportation. He stated that the recommendation is to place the
sales tax referendum question on the ballot for 1/4 of a percent, the minimum permitted under
statute. He also advised that the recommendation includes a 15 year Sunset provision. He stated
that $67.5 million in revenue would be generated over the 15 year period, based on historical
trends. Staff recommends identifying for the voters which road projects will be undertaken, and
Mr. Sorrel noted that the projects will be completed via both a bond issuance and "pay as you go".
He commented that any residuals remaining after the completion of the projects would be
dedicated to early retirement of the debt issuance. Staff recommends issuing $35 million in debt;
the estimated debt service would be approximately $2.9 million, leaving an annual residual
amount of $1.6 million which would be utilized as "pay as you go". He also noted that Peoria
County's MFT allocations would be utilized to cover any overages in the "pay as you go" portion.
Mr. Sorrel advised that 46.3% of the projects are located inside the City of Peoria (7 miles) and
53.7% outside the City of Peoria (19 miles). He noted that after completion of the projects of
roads inside the City, a jurisdictional transfer would place those roads within the City's network.
Mr. Rosenbohm asked that should the City continue to annex roads within the County, would the
County be obligated to fund the upgrade of those roads, as stated in the Intergovernmental
Agreement related to jurisdictional transfer. Mr. Sorrel advised that as annexation occurs,
County highways would remain County highways, and stated that as land becomes annexed, an
agreement would be worked out for those roads.
Ms. Ardapple asked if traditional budget funding would be utilized for projects that remain
unfunded by the referendum. Mr. Sorrel advised that, as existing MFT receipts allow, as well as
the ability to access Federal dollars that could be matched with the amount levied in the Matching
Tax Fund of each year, a "pay as you go" approach would be taken to fund as many of those
projects as possible.
Referendum Question for the November 8, 2016 General Election
Andrew Rand - Chairman; Mary Ardapple, Robert Baietto, James
Dillon, James Fennell, Allen Mayer, Stephen Morris, Thomas O'Neill,
Paul Rosenbohm, Phillip Salzer, Sharon Williams
MEMBERS ABSENT: Michael Phelan
STAFF PRESENT: Scott Sorrel - County Administrator; Steve Giebelhausen - State's
Attorney's Office; Brian Elsasser, Brad Harding, Lynn Pearson - County
Board Member; Amy Benecke McLaren, Jeff Gilles - County Highway;
Carol Van Winkle - Auditor; Mark Little - Chief Information Officer;
Gretchen Pearsall - Director of Strategic Communications
VISITORS Todd Baker - Care & Treatment Board; Terry Waters - EP!C; Chris
Kaergard - PJS; Media
Mr. Morris questioned language in the ballot question stating "… to pay for road improvements
and other transportation purposes." He asked if that language is required, as "other
transportation purposes" could constitute usage other than road improvements. Mr. Sorrel
advised that the language in the resolution that will be placed on the ballot is verbatim from
statute and cannot be changed. Mr. Morris stated his disappointment in the language, and
stressed that if the referendum is placed on the ballot and passes, that the sales taxes be used
exclusively for road improvements.
Mr. Rosenbohm asked the timetable for road projects. Mr. Sorrel advised that, in regard to the
projects for which debt would be issued, the schedule would be frontloaded with roads within the
City, and would be anticipated to take 2-3 construction cycles. In addition, unincorporated roads,
or those within another municipality but still under debt service, would be completed within the
same timeframe. He added that the remainder of the project list under debt service would be
completed in additional construction cycles. The "pay as you go" projects would be completed as
The motion to approve carried unanimously.
A motion to approve was made by Mr. Baietto and seconded by Mr. Mayer.
Mr. Todd Baker, a member of the Care & Treatment and 377 Boards and Mr. Terry Waters, Board
Chairman of EP!C, spoke on the present levy, the history of the levy and the funding needs for the
provision of services for developmentally disabled citizens. Mr. Baker noted that from 2010 to
2016, the levy has decreased from 2.03¢ to 1.01¢, which has correspondingly decreased the ability
to serve this population by half. Mr. Waters advised that although he is aware that the levy
cannot be increased to historical levels, he supports the referendum question to restore funding
by at least 1.0¢.
Mr. Mayer spoke to the steadily increasing demand for the services provided by the Veteran's
Assistance Commission (VAC) in recent years. He explained that the main function of the VAC is
to assist veterans with the bureaucracy of the Federal VA system to ensure they receive the
benefits for which they are legally entitled. He also stated that the Commission expends less than
$250,000.00 annually while bringing in nearly $5 million in benefits. He noted that the impact
of the combined requests for additional property tax revenue would impact the owner of a
$100,000.00 home by $4.22, with the VAC portion at $1.41.
Mr. Morris commented that although the end users of both organizations are worthy, the two
organizations are completely separate entities that serve different needs. He questioned the
necessity of having them placed on the same referendum, and stated that he preferred that the
two ballot questions be split. Mr. Dillon advised that he supports both causes, and would not be
opposed to separating the question. Mr. Mayer commented that both items are related to
property taxes, and particularly as this is an advisory question, it was a matter of economy in
combining the two. Mr. Giebelhausen also noted that as this is an advisory referendum, it is not
binding on the Board.
Mr. Morris motioned to separate the two issues into two separate ballot questions, and
Mr. Fennell seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the motion failed, with Mr. Morris,
Mr. Fennell, Mr. Rosenbohm and Mr. Dillon voting aye, and Mr. Rand, Ms. Ardapple, Mr. Baietto,
Mr. Mayer, Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Salzer and Ms. Williams voting nay.
The motion as originally presented carried, with Mr. Morris voting nay.
Advisory Referendum Question for the November 8, 2016 General Election
The meeting was adjourned by Chairman Rand at 5:13 p.m.