Statement from Mayor Ali on the Peoria Civic Center and Peoria Rivermen
Comments about an agreement being reached between the Peoria Civic Center Authority, the Peoria Rivermen, and the Peoria City Council were premature. No final deal has been reached.
The Peoria Civic Center Authority does not have the ability to levy taxes, so they are reliant upon program revenues from the Civic Center and Hotel Restaurant and Amusement Taxes to fund operations and capital expenses. The Civic Center has $47 million of unmet capital needs as identified by their Capital Committee.
The State of Illinois recently granted the Civic Center Authority $25 million for capital improvements, but more capital needs remain to be funded. The city has been exploring options to assist the Peoria Civic Center with their capital needs, including the ice plant, through additional bonds paid from Hotel, Restaurant, and Amusement Taxes.
Any agreement for additional debt financing requires the approval of the Civic Center Authority and the Peoria City Council. The Civic Center Authority will meet next week and the City Council will discuss this matter on February 28. At the same time, as the Civic Center capital needs are addressed, the Civic Center Authority and the Peoria Rivermen will need to negotiate a new lease. That lease is not, and should not be, the responsibility of the City. We expect the two parties to negotiate reasonably and in good faith.
The Mission Statement of the Peoria Civic Center Authority includes the following statement:
We will be a catalyst for improving the quality of life and economic vitality in our area by hosting diverse events that are enjoyed and supported by all segments of the general public.
The Peoria Rivermen contribute to the quality of life for community members and visitors in the City of Peoria and Greater Peoria alike.