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Peoria County Board hears CO2 pipeline objections, approves jail master plan outlay

Graduates of the 2023 Peoria City-County Civic Leadership Academy were acknowledged by Peoria County Board Chairperson James C. Dillon (second from left) during the board's Nov. 9 meeting.
Tim Alexander
Graduates of the 2023 Peoria City-County Civic Leadership Academy were acknowledged by Peoria County Board chair James C. Dillon, second from left, during the board's Nov. 9 meeting.

Changes in the speed limits on a pair of well-traveled rural Peoria County roads are coming.

Thursday's Peoria County Board meeting consent agenda included approval for lowering the current speed limit of 45 mph on Mossville Road to 40 mph. In addition, the speed limit will be lowered to 45 mph on Voorhees Road in Kickapoo and Radnor Townships.

District 7 Board representative Philip Salzer said the change is welcomed by many who live and travel on Voorhees Road.
“We would’ve liked to reduce (the speed limit) to 40 mph, but because it had been posted at 55, we couldn’t take it that far down,” said Salzer.

Also during the meeting's consent agenda, the board approved a resolution from the Infrastructure Committee recommending approval of a contract with CGL Management Group, LLC, of Chicago, to prepare a Jail master plan at a cost not to exceed $275,000.

Board chair James C. Dillon called the resolution an extremely important development for the future of the jail.

The board also heard from three local activists protesting Wolf Carbon’s proposed carbon sequestration pipelinedevelopment that includes parts of Peoria County.

Joyce Blumenshine of Citizens Against Predatory Pipelines called out the board for not supporting a moratorium on CO2 pipeline developments, at least until new federal guidelines regulating pipelines are expected in 2024.

“I think it’s really important at some point, with all due respect, that the county board decides whose side are you on,” said Blumenshine, who objected to potential health, environmental and safety concerns a carbon sequestration pipeline might bring to the county.

Responding indirectly to Blumenshine and the other two activists during closing announcements, District 14 board member Brian Elsasser said the pipeline issue isn’t yet in the hands of the county.

“It’s not like we’re going to be bringing it to a committee or anything like that,” he said. “I’m neither for nor against [the Wolf Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline proposal], but a lot of my constituents are vehemently against it, and at least they want answers, and that’s what I want, too.”

The meeting began with a proclamation recognizing the 125th anniversary of the Village of Peoria Heights, along with recognition of eight graduates of the 2023 Peoria City-County Civic Leadership Academy. In addition, a proclamation was issued acknowledging the importance of Small Business Saturday, which is Nov. 25, to rural communities and economies.

In other developments, the county board approved:

● A resolution from the Executive Committee recommending approval of a three-year commitment to invest in the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, in the amount of $25,000 annually, subject to annual performance and appropriation.

● A resolution from the Infrastructure Committee recommending approval of a Joint Funding Agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation for construction work on the Maxwell Road Bridge, and appropriation of $1,515,000 of County Bridge Funds for the project.

● A zoning request to operate a Commercial Solar Energy Facility across about 28 acres of a 39.3 acre parcel in an “A-2” Agricultural Zoning District parcel located in Radnor Township.

● A collective bargaining agreement between Peoria County and AFSCME Council 31/Local 3473 and FY2023 budget amendment, pending committee approval.

Peoria County Board meetings are live streamed and can be watched remotely on the following platforms: www.facebook.com/peoriacountygov


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