BREAKING NEWS - Council approves funding for library

DeWayne Bartels
Mayor Jim Ardis, left, at-large councilman Jim Montelongo, center, and 3rd District councilman Bob Manning talk before tonight's Peoria City Council meeting. The council tonight by a 10-01 vote approved $28 million in bonding for the Peoria Public Library.

The Peoria City Council, tonight, voted 10-1 to approve $28 million in bonding for the Peoria Public Library.

While the amount is below the $35 million the library board sought the approval came with no strings attached as far as the site for a new North Peoria branch.

This means the library board is free to create a new North Peoria library branch at the former Festival Foods site on North Knoxville Avenue or the SUD’S site off Allen Road, which were the library board’s top picks.

Peoria Public Library Board President Mike McKenzie said after the vote the Richwoods High School/Expo Gardens site preferred by many on the council, while still in the mix, seems far less likely to be the site for a new North Peoria branch.

This vote also seems to assure that the Lakeview Branch will remain open. However, McKenzie said after the vote, plans to upgrade the Lakeview Branch may have to be trimmed and moved back. 

Only at-large councilman, and former council/library board liaison, Gary Sandberg voted against the compromise.

He said the amount was too little.

“Based on the one-on-one conversations we had with we agree with the council this is the best compromise for the city at this time,” McKenzie said.

For much more on this story see the 7/2/08 issue of the Peoria Times-Observer.