Peoria Council to have special meeting to discuss Chiefs' financial issues

By Audrey Williams

Chiefs President Rocky Vonchen says the Chiefs ballpark will still be called O'Brien Field until the team finds a new corporate sponsor.

April 23, 2013 Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- The financial stability of the Peoria Chiefs ball park has been under scrutiny over the past year and now the city is getting involved.

Tuesday night, the Peoria City Council scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday April 30th at 7 pm.

Mayor Jim Ardis said the public meeting will be a chance to discuss concerns and possible solutions to the financial issues.

He said ball park owners owe both the banks and the city money, although he's not sure how much.

Mayor Ardis said the concerned banks want to close on a solution at the end of the month.

He adds, it is a possibility the ball park could go under, but that's why so many interested parties are looking to help, "Everybody is trying to work together to come up with a solution to keep the Chiefs here and to keep the viable for long term, not just this year and I think that's what everybody is working to try to get to."

The Mayor expects to outline more information about a possible solution towards the end of the week.

Also to note out of Tuesday's Council meeting, the council is applauding City Manager Patrick Urich for his hard work. After a seemingly positive review, the council unanimously approved a 2-percent salary increase for Urich.

Urich is also being given an $11,500 dollar bonus, $9,000 of which he has decided to distribute to Directors of City Departments at his discretion.

Also, the council approved a lease with Emack and Bolio's to host an ice cream shop in the Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau building on Peoria's Riverfront.

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