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A Publication of WTVP

The April meeting began with Mayor-elect Jim Ardis addressing the Peoria Medical and Technology District Commission. He indicated he supported the creation of the Med/Tech District and will continue to be supportive and assist us in reaching the lofty goals established in the Comprehensive Master Plan approved by city council. In particular, he expressed his appreciation to outgoing 2nd District Councilwoman Marcella Teplitz for her dedication and tireless efforts in seeing that the Med/Tech Commission was established.

The essence of the meeting centered around approval of Ad Hoc Committee assignments directed toward the top 10 priority projects identified and approved by the Peoria City Council. Specifically, the committee assignments are as follows:

Each committee will have at least one Neighborhood Advisory Council member and may involve other non-commission and non-Neighborhood Advisory Council members with related expertise. These committees will be supported by the city's Economic Development staff, including Karie Friling, Ben Vyverberg, Susan Schlupp, Nicole Fulton, and Stephanie Grayson. The commission is very fortunate to have had this staff's support in moving forward with our efforts. We couldn't have accomplished all we have to date without their assistance and commitment.

Other significant projects include the Columbia Terrace Streetscape project, the Peoria NEXT operating entity, and creation of the Special Services District. The commission determined a separate committee wasn't necessary to manage these projects at this time. The Columbia Terrace Streetscape is initially a design project being handled internally within the Department of Economic Development. They'll report back to the commission in the next several months. The Peoria NEXT Operating Entity is a discussion between the city and the chair of Peoria NEXT regarding creating an entity dedicated specifically to the development of the Med/Tech corridor. The creation of a Special Services District will be discussed in the third quarter of 2005, as this requires various public forums and procedural issues that need to be followed.

The first likely outcome will be getting the design guidelines codified and approved by city council. Once codified, it'll be the official design guideline for the Med/Tech District and will officially be a component of the Master Land Use Plan for Peoria (under the direction of the Peoria Planning Commission).

We've already had a success. One of the design elements for each of the neighborhoods is to have at least one park within its boundaries. It recently was announced the state has provided a $45,000 grant to create neighborhood pocket parks. It's a first step toward creating very family friendly, livable neighborhoods that hopefully will attract the type of people needed to create the Medical and Technology District environment envisioned in the Comprehensive Master Plan. We're confident there will be many more successes in the Med/Tech District. IBI

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