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East Peoria Cuts Recycling Services, Freezes Wages to Balance Budget

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The City of East Peoria will see a series of budget cuts in the coming year due to unexpected revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special session of the city council Tuesday saw an adjusted budget passed by the council. The new budget includes the shelving of major sewer and facilities projects, a hold on new uniforms for the fire department, the laying off of four police officers, wage freezes for city employees, and a list of other changes.

The overall budget saw a decrease of 16% in the city’s operating costs. Councilman Dan Decker said that, otherwise, the city will still be a resource.

"It's going to be a very lean year," Decker said. "Having said that, if something comes up, especially if it's an infrastructure issues, please let us know about it. Don't just assume they can't fix it, they don't have any money to fix it. Because we don't want a small problem to turn into a big problem."

One service included in the cuts was East Peoria’s curbside recycling. Decker was sorry to see the service go, and is eager to explore other solutions.

East Peoria Mayor John Kahl said the decision was hard, but cutting the budget eventually came down to cutting people, or services, and the city wanted to avoid layoffs until absolutely necessary.

East Peoria residents can still drop off their recyclable products at Peoria Disposal Company recycling sites.

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