2014 State of the City Speech
Peoria, IL (January 28, 2014) —Nearly 600 people attended the 14th Annual State of the City Address today to find out what’s in store for 2014. Mayor Ardis focused on progress as he addressed downtown and business development, the first-ever two year budget, and education.
Mayor Ardis kicked off his address by reminding us that in 2013 Peoria was named an All-America City, the Marriott Pere Marquette opened, and business is starting to thrive in the Warehouse District. He explained that business development will only continue in 2014. “The Courtyard Marriott will be open for business this spring, and the newly-remodeled Sheraton Four Points will follow. Look for exciting news on Main & Madison as we work to secure new development that will include a refurbished Madison Theater. More great news is the homecoming of Running Central to Peoria. When finished, the Louisville Slugger Sport Complex will provide one of the best sports experience for kids in the country.”
He went on to announce the creation of the Downtown Development Corporation, the entity driving development in downtown and the Warehouse District. “The CEO Council and the City of Peoria have been working on this concept since the middle of 2013. Fundraising is underway and the board is beginning to take shape. There is nothing more important to the economic future of this region than the vibrancy of Peoria’s downtown and I expect great things from this organization.”
Mayor Ardis was proud to share that the City Council recently approved the first-ever two-year budget. “A continued slow economic recovery and stale EAV’s have inspired us to plan for more than just the year ahead.”
He challenged us to ask ourselves what we can do to drive community focus on education issues, explaining that we cannot move forward without well-educated, skilled workers. “I am committed to keeping a focus on educational performance in Peoria. We have to do better. The quality of our education system is the number one factor influencing our ability to grow Peoria and we’re not going in the right direction.”
The Mayor also presented Dr. Bill Collier with this year’s “Mayor’s Outstanding Community Service Award” for his continued hard work to improve the most important asset for our community’s success… education.
Mayor Ardis continues to be a strong proponent of Peoria Promise, encouraging us to continue to support and invest in the program. He also stressed his commitment to public safety through initiatives like “Don’t Shoot,” “Don’t Start,” and the Red Cross Ready Rating Program. The Peoria Sustainability Commission, focused on economic development, social equity and sustainability continues to have great success.
Peoria Area Chamber Board Chairman Brent Eichelberger explained that the Chamber works closely with the City on many projects and initiatives. “Collaboration is the driver behind these initiatives. The Chamber and CEO Council play an important role in representing the business community on a local, regional, and state level.”
The State of the City event is hosted annually by the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event was held at the Peoria Civic Center and sponsored by Dewberry. The Mayor’s speech can be found here.
About the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of area businesses, delivering value to its members by cultivating a thriving business community, presenting the united voice of local business to government, offering continuously upgraded products and services for business enhancement and providing strategic business advisory services. Through the Chamber’s strategic plan, it is focused on being the leading voice for business in the region through political advocacy; inclusive and diverse in the approach to our work; an advocate to improve the quality of place in the region; and a source for strong leadership development.
For more information, visit www.peoriachamber.org or call Rachel O’Connell at (309) 495-5974.