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Peoria County Board tweaks solar ordinance, agrees to enter into brokerage agreement for One Technology Plaza auction

Dean Troutman, right, receives a proclamation from Peoria County Board member Brian Elsasser at their Sept. 14, 2023 meeting.
Tim Alexander
Dean Troutman, left, receives a proclamation from Peoria County Board member Brian Elsasser at the board's Sept. 14, 2023 meeting.

The Peoria County Board began its September meeting by recognizing 93-year-old Princeville resident Dean Troutman for his recent completion of a 350-mile walk to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“Maybe next year we’ll do it again,” Troutman said, while accepting an official letter of proclamation from Brian Elsasser, District 14 board representative, on Thursday night.

Troutman began walking to raise money for non-profits after purchasing 5.75 acres of land in 2011 to establish a park for his community in memory of his wife, Dorothy "Peggy" Troutman, who had passed away a few months earlier. Troutman, then a spry 81-year-old, completed a 700-mile walk to help raise money for a children's playground in the memorial park. He’s been on a non-stop quest to raise funds via his pedestrian excursions ever since, with his walks covered by ABC News and other media outlets across the nation.

The Clubs at River City also was recognized for its 50th year in business, among other board proclamations.

Citizen remarks included a plea to the county to impose a moratorium on any carbon sequestration pipeline projects planned on county property. Another citizen sought resolution for a permit dispute over culvert work he’d performed on his property in Kickapoo Township.

The monthly consent agenda began with the auditor’s report of expenditures from Accounts Payable. The report can be accessed here.

Highlights of the approved consent agenda included:

● A resolution from the Public Safety and Justice Committee recommending the annual salary of the Peoria County sheriff be raised to $157,949.16, effective July 1, 2023. County records place the 2022 base salary for the sheriff’s position at just above $142,000 per year.

● A resolution from the Public Safety and Justice Committee recommending approval of the annual salary of the Peoria County public defender in the amount of $177,692.80, also effective July 1, 2023. County records reveal the 2022 base compensation was around $164,000.

● A resolution from the Public Safety and Justice Committee recommending approval of an intergovernmental agreement between Peoria County and the City of Peoria for participation in the Greater Peoria Auto Crimes Task Force (GPACT) and an appropriation in the amount of $216,700.00 to fund revenues and expenditures

Zoning ordinances and resolutions were addressed, including a recommended ordinance that affects solar power projects located in the county. According to District 18 board member Paul Rosenbohm, the ordinance clarifies regulations regarding battery energy storage centers for wind and solar energy.

“We did not have a battery storage ordinance, and we know that companies are going to need an ordinance establishing rules and regulations,” Rosenbohm said. The resolution was approved by voice vote without dissent.

Another resolution approved by the board allows the county to enter into a contract for a brokerage service to represent the interests of the county in the auction of the One Technology Plaza building in downtown Peoria.

“We reached an agreement in which we retain approval of this agenda item, but are also kept separate so that we retain maximum flexibility in our rights so that should the auction price meet to our satisfaction, we can execute that. Should it not, we will hold and retain ownership of that space,” said Scott Sorrell, Peoria County administrator, addressing the board’s questions about the resolution that was approved 16-0.

Tim Alexander is a correspondent for WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.