Excitement and devastation during State of East Peoria

By Audrey Wise

Excitement and devastation during State of East Peoria

March 7, 2014 Updated Mar 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill -- After the ups and downs of 2013, East Peoria City officials are looking forward to an exciting 2014. Mayor Dave Mingus touched on it all during Friday's State of the City address.

In 2013 the City of East Peoria was hit with not one, but two natural disasters. Flooding in April and the tornado in November cost the city more than $700,000. To make up for the that, Mayor Mingus said the city will likely dip into their reserve fund.

On the positive side, the levee district saw the most new business openings since the project began.

"We actually realized a significant increase in sales tax during that period of time when they came on line and opened," said Mayor Mingus.

Residents can look forward to more new businesses opening this year.

East Peoria Director of Planning & Community Development Ty Livingston said, "Carters, it's a baby clothing and it's the first store in this market. Another one is Crust which is an Italian pizza restaurant that's a local concept. We have Popeye's and McDonald's and some that you would anticipate in a high traffic area."

Despite the disasters and because of the business boom, the city lowered property taxes for the second year in a row.

Mayor Mingus said, "The important this is that taxpayers, if they look at their bill, will see that the city of East Peoria the multiplier that they are going to pay is less than it was last year and less than it was the year before."

Mayor Mingus said all this adds up to exciting times for the Levee District and the entire city, "We're very grateful, for more than just development, but the fortitude and the resolve of our citizens and a God that took good care of us."