Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pekin’s Downtown District Parking Study Funding


During 2010 City of Pekin searched for funding to complete a downtown parking study to identify existing downtown parking constraints, plan for redevelopment growth and service the parking needs for downtown businesses and activities, government buildings, Tazewell County and riverfront activities. We looked at a partnership with Tri-County Planning Commission, City of Pekin, Tazewell County and CitiLink to fund the parking study with estimates totaling just under $20,000.

At the January 2011 Tri-County Regional Planning Commission meeting, the Pekin downtown parking study funding was approved in the amount of $20,000.00 with no local match required and allowing us to manage the entire process. We have a great relationship with Terry Kohlbuss at Tri-County Regional Planning Commission who also sits on the Pekin Chamber Transportation Committee and understands the goals the City of Pekin wants to accomplish with a parking study in relation to overall transportation efforts.

During this process the City of Pekin Economic Development staff researched what elements should be defined in the parking study which includes the feasibility for a parking structure to maximize parking efficiency and long term planning which will be determined by evaluating key elements such as function, inter-modal and mixed use opportunities, parking capacity, footprint, location and cost estimates.

Leigh Ann Matthews, Economic Development Director comment:
“Receiving this great news from Tri-County Planning Commission of secured funding for $20,000 allows us to continue conversations with Tazewell County, CityLink, Pekin Main Street, Pekin Chamber Transportation committee and Tri-County Planning Commission regarding the proposed elements to include in the study. This will gives us the solid foundation to move forward with consultant proposals to begin the process of accessing the parking situation in our downtown district and gain the knowledge of feasible solutions. This comes in good timing as efforts proceed with our downtown revitalization projects utilizing TIF dollars. City Council recently voted to move forward with a developer’s agreement for the 200 Block of Court Street along with researching the scope of a downtown redevelopment plan with estimated costs of hiring a consultant.”

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