Peoria budget passes with new fees and reductions - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria budget passes with new fees and reductions

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Peoria city leaders approved a two year budget Tuesday that keeps spending below $200 million but also raises several fees.

By wide margins, council agreed to raise trash collection fees from $14 to $17 a month.

The amusement tax is also going up to 3%, bringing in another $500,000 in estimated revenue and special service tax areas at both Junction City and Westlake shopping centers.

And a storm water utility fee also passed by a 10-1 vote.

That's expected to bring in $4.6 and $8 million dollars over the next two years to bring Peoria in line with EPA  guidelines on our combined sewer overflow.

"And we'll be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars where we could be using that money, solving this problem differently. And I really believe this is significant for our community. And I really can't vote for this budget," said Councilman Jim Montelongo. 

"And we can make all the promises we want to make on this floor, (but) if we don't find a revenue stream of sizable content and ongoing, we're going to have to deal with this every year," said Councilman Eric Turner. 

The final vote on the budget was 9-2 with Montelongo and Ruckriegel voting against.

The city manager, Patrick Urich, acknowledged that while the budgets are lean, they do provide city services people have come to expect.

Several vacant positions, including those within the fire department, will go unfilled in order to cut spending.

The net result is described on peoriagov.org as a reduction of 11 positions.

Also Tuesday: using city streets and police for various events could get more expensive.

Cleared by an 11-0 vote on first reading was a $200 per officer fee for public events, like October's Whiskey Daddle marathon.

The proposal also includes another fee: $100 for every city intersection closed for those events.

Staffers project those fees could raise $120,000 for the city of Peoria each year.

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