The City of Peoria and Peoria County have worked together on numerous projects over the years. We continue to collaborate and/or consolidate services to eliminate redundancies within our governmental bodies. Some examples of our cooperation are:
- In the early 1970s, the City-County Health Department was consolidated. This department is operated by the county and provides health services countywide.
- The city has maintained the county traffic signals for the past decade. The city also provides installation of pavement markings for the county.
- This year, the city and county purchased fuel together and issued a joint request for auditing services. The county recently offered training to more than 20 city employees on writing proper bid specifications.
- Since 1979, our Emergency Communications Center has provided dispatch services for Peoria County. It's funded by the city and county, and the equipment is purchased and maintained by the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB).
- The city and county are cooperating on plans for natural and man-made disasters. The Tri-County Terrorism Coalition consists of the City of Peoria plus Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties. The coalition works with first responders, the Red Cross, and local health departments to plan for a coordinated response to terrorist acts or natural disasters. The Heart of Illinois Project IMPACT is a planning effort to ensure buildings in the tri-county region are built to withstand the effects of natural disasters.
- The Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter provides animal control services countywide. In 1984, the city took over the county contract for these services. The City of Peoria receives all rabies registration fees collected as payment for the provision of this service to the county.
- Since 1985, the City and County of Peoria have jointly owned and operated a landfill. The City/County Landfill Committee provides equally represented oversight of the facility. Recently, the committee secured additional property to be used for future expansion of solid waste disposal and as a buffer for neighboring properties.
- The city, county, and the Peoria Park District have partnered to make historic Springdale Cemetery a viable entity through the creation of the Springdale Cemetery Management Authority.
- Information technology services are also shared between the city and county. For many years, the Peoria County Sheriff's Department has used the City of Peoria's public safety records system for input of their crime reports and traffic tickets. The state's attorney, circuit clerk, and courts access this system to retrieve information from city and county police reports. Many City of Peoria departments have access to and use the information contained in the county's property systems for verification of address and property owner information. The county shares access to a grant notification software program with the city, and the city shares access to a business retention program with the county.
- One of the latest and most exciting collaborative efforts between the City of Peoria, Peoria County, and the Greater Peoria Sanitary District is the Geographic Information System (GIS). This system makes it possible to digitize and share a wide variety of map information. Geographic features and infrastructure systems such as roads, sewers, and sidewalks can be viewed, analyzed, and communicated as digital maps. GIS and other information can be shared electronically with developers and the public to facilitate the development/permitting process. Using GIS, it'll be possible to automate many government functions and allow our staff to work more cooperatively and effectively. The GIS can be viewed at www.peoriagis.com.
While these activities demonstrate intergovernmental cooperation, there are still many areas for further cooperation. Radio repair, fleet services, and other cooperative purchasing efforts are being considered, as are law enforcement programs such as mug shots, warrants, and crime mapping.
Intergovernmental cooperation is of great value to our citizens, particularly in difficult economic times. The City of Peoria and Peoria County will continue to work together to find more effective and efficient ways to deliver services to our constituents. IBI