Photo courtesy Raphael Rodolphi
This past September, members of the MBRA board and neighbors, along with Councilman Grayeb, Councilwoman Jensen, city staff, and representatives from Bradley’s Police and Student Affairs office, participated in a walking tour of the MBRA area. We identified Barker Avenue as a street representative of the problems we are encountering within the entire MBRA boundaries – the slow degradation of the integrity of our neighborhood. As we walked down Barker we noted properties, past and existing problems, asked for guidance on what is considered a code violation and how we as a neighborhood should address these issues. Within a few days, Code Enforcement was canvassing the neighborhood and issuing citations.
We followed up the walking tour at our October membership meeting with a presentation from city staff on Code Enforcement. Joe Dulin, Assistant Community Development Director and Raven Fuller, Neighborhood Enhancement Coordinator spoke to those in attendance and provided background on their process, types of things they look for and how we, as individuals within this neighborhood, can and should address issues that we all notice with properties. They outwardly admitted that staff is limited and that citizens can assist code enforcement inspectors by reporting issues to the city. They provided a number of ways to do so.
If you are using a smart phone, the city has an app, Peoria Cares, where you can report on a number of different issues including Zoning. After selecting a category, you can type in the location of the property, provide a description of the problem and even take a photo of the property in question, and send it all directly to the city.
You can also do so through the city’s website, www.peoriagov.org/peoria-cares-ureport/. Or you can report a violation the “ol’ fashion way” by calling Code Enforcement at 309.494.8620. Raven Fuller, who I introduced earlier, is also a good resource for questions or reporting issues to. She can be reached at 309.494.8636 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a demonstration of the app/website at the November membership meeting.
Not everyone shares the values most of us have regarding home ownership and community. And, unfortunately, city budgets over the years have forced a reduction in staff positions. So it is critical for us to assume a specific role in the process of code enforcement. Do not hesitate to immediately reach out to the city if you have a question or when you note a violation. Document violations and forward them on to the board after reporting them to the city so that we can ensure that specific issues are being addressed.
Finally, I would like to invite you to the November membership meeting to not only view a demonstration of the Peoria Cares app/website but to also discuss the traffic concerns and issues present on Moss Ave and the surrounding streets. There is a continuous issue with volume, speed and aggressiveness of drivers. Scheduled to attend this meeting will be city staff including Public Works and the Peoria Police Department. If you have concerns, I strongly urge you to attend.