Concerns Raised About Future Park

City of Peoria

The River Trail development project in Peoria is coming along. Assistant City Manger Chris Setti presented the Concept Site Plan to about 30 people Wednesday at City Hall. The Concept Site Plan is essentially a blueprint of what the finished development project will look like.

The City is finalizing how it plans to create the new Riverfront Park in downtown Peoria on eight acres of land after it replaces much of the current park with apartments. The entire project will be funded by $600,000 in TIF money.

As part of the project the City must obtain the approval of both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service. In its IDNR application materials, Setti will include feedback from the public.

And there was plenty of that after Setti laid out plans for the park on Wednesday. Concerns were raised about land’s susceptibility to flood water.

“It doesn’t make the plan impossible,” said Setti referring to the possibility of the land flooding. “It doesn’t just make it bad because it floods. Parks are also built in flood plans.”

A few residents questioned the transparency of the budget, as well as the environmental impact of the park.

Setti says the City will consider those issues before submitting its final proposal.

“We will take a look at some of the deeper issues, such as graining and environmental stuff,” explains Setti. “I think in general the people have shown an acceptance of the concept plan, even if they disagree with the project as a whole.”

Setti said the project is still “in limbo” until it’s approved by the IDNR. Only then will the city make a more detailed design mock up.

The City will hold another public hearing on the project at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20th in Council Chambers. The City is accepting written comments on the IDNR application materials through 5 p.m. on Monday, January 25th. Comments can be emailed to [email protected]

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