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Peoria City Council approves $700K in anti-violence funding, with more on the way

Tim Shelley

The Peoria City Council will provide $700,000 in COVID relief funds for violence prevention programming.

Twelve organizations applied for the funding through a competitive application process, and five were selected to receive money.

The city's Community Development Block Grant Public Services Advisory Commission assessed and ranked each application.

The organizations receiving money include:

  • $50,000 for the Dream Center's DCP Youth mentoring and life skills program for kids ages 10-18.
  • $250,000 for the Peoria City/County Health Department's contract with the Chicago-based Cure Violence program. The health department is now championing the program after the city council balked at directly funding it.
  • $100,000 for Heart of Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Mentoring Program for children ages 8-14.
  • $78,766 for Goodwill Youth Services to hire a full-time mental health advocate.
  • $221,234 for the Peoria Friendship House's "Peoria Peacekeepers Network," a diversion program for youth who admit to committing eligible offenses.

Community Development Director Joe Dulin said an additional $500,000 from an Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity violence reduction grant will go toward funding another round of programming next year. That could provide an opportunity for applicants not tapped to receive money this time around.
Dulin said the city also will be monitoring the programs to ensure they're effective.

"We're pretty well equipped to make sure that they're following the agreements and doing the programs in place. All the applications did that (to) indicate which program metrics they'd be measuring," he said.

4th District council member Andre Allen said he wants to make sure the process also is inclusive of newer nonprofit organizations that may not have the infrastructure the more established groups have to apply for the grants.

"Maybe we can give them some feedback. But maybe just even in the springtime, we (can) consider some type of workshop or something along those lines. So then that way, you know, the smaller nonprofit or the newer nonprofit knows, what are the key performance indicators I need to be tracking?" he said.

Peoria set for faster snow removal this winter

Peoria will have more snow fighters out on the roadways this winter. That means more snow routes — and faster snow removal.

Sie Maroon is deputy director for Peoria Public Works.

"Our customer service levels are going to increase now back to a level that we're comfortable with, and knowing that we can do this for the citizens and the travelers, said Maroon.

Maroon said primary routes will be cleared 24 hours after the end of 2 to 6 inches of snowfall, and within 36 hours after more than 6 inches. Those are 12-hour reductions from the previous targets.

Fifty-six employees will run snow routes 24/7 in two 12-hour shifts when the city gets two or more inches of snow. The city will run 21 snow routes this year, up from 17 the past two years. Last year, the city had 47 employees to run snow removal operations.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.