PEORIA – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a capital investment of $2.6 million to upgrade the arena seating and remodel the meeting rooms at the Peoria Civic Center. The Governor also signed legislation that adds the Civic Center to the list of large public facilities than can be used for emergency preparedness and response efforts. These actions are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make public buildings more accessible and strengthen the state’s emergency preparedness efforts.
“The Peoria Civic Center draws events and visitors from around the country and is key to the continued economic development of the area,” Governor Quinn said. “These improvements will enhance the accessibility and use of the facility for years to come.”
The $2.6 million state investment will provide new seating to replace the 30-year-old seats in Carver Arena, including accessible seating for people with disabilities. It will also help update the existing meeting rooms to make them more functional for use by the public, and upgrade the area where the adjacent Marriott now under construction will connect by skywalk to the Civic Center.
Governor Quinn today also signed House Bill 2737, sponsored by State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria) and State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Galesburg), which requires the Peoria Civic Center Authority to make its buildings available for emergency purposes. It also requires the authority to cooperate with emergency response entities, including the American Red Cross, in the event of an emergency. The Red Cross maintains a list of these facilities in Illinois, and the new law adds the Peoria facilities to that list. The law is effective immediately.
“We are very grateful to Senator Koehler and Representative Moffitt for their vision, and to Governor Quinn for coming here today to sign this bill,” American Red Cross Central Illinois Region CEO Anne Fox said. “The Peoria Civic Center demonstrated the value of this legislation when it opened its doors to host the Red Cross state headquarters for the recent Illinois flood relief effort. It will unquestionably help Illinois to be one of the states better prepared to care for its citizens in an emergency.”
Governor Quinn also recently acted on three bills that impact Peoria.
House Bill 1522, sponsored by State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) and Senator Koehler allows Peoria and DuPage Counties to establish Storm Water Management Committees to address frequent flooding concerns in these two counties. These committees could levy fees specifically to improve or repair storm water infrastructure to lessen the impact of flooding such as the record flash flooding that occurred this spring. These improvements could ease water flow rates in sewers, improve water quality, and promote green infrastructure. The new law takes effect immediately.
House Bill 125, sponsored by State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) and Senator Koehler, allows the Tri County Regional Planning Commission to acquire and sell real property. House Bill 2761, the Interstate Mutual Aid Act, was sponsored by Representative Moffitt and authorizes state and local governments to enter into mutual aid agreements with units of government from another state to coordinate communications, training, and response to emergencies.