PEORIA, IL -- First the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said it didn't have any documents regarding the Riverfront Park Land swap. (See story below.)
Turns out that was a lie!
Another person obtained two documents about this land swap, the first dated March 13, 2015, about the process. But the most interesting is dated July 9, 2015, an email entitled "Riverfront Land."
Jan Nation, a senior grant administrator at the IDNR stated in an email sent to me on Aug. 28: "Approval was given for the City to proceed forward with the conversion request. Nothing more than that."
But look at the July 9 email:
From: Nation, Jan <Jan.Nation@Illinois.gov>
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2015 2:18 PM
To: Christopher Setti
Cc: Susan Schlupp
Subject: Riverfront Land
Chris and Susan,
NPS is ok with the preliminary replacement sites and plans for the future for the two parcels we visited Tuesday morning. She wanted to make sure I (DNR) was comfortable with proposal and I stated I am. You are free to proceed
with the conversion requirements. Please remember, final approval is a long way off.
The first step is to determine the value of the converted land and then the two replacement parcels. Those appraisals will need to be submitted to me and the values will be rejected or certified by our agency appraiser. Make sure your
appraiser calls that division before they start work. The information was provided to you previously for you to give to your appraiser.
I checked and you are correct Susan, the residual value from the last conversion (2013) was $66,000 to be used within 5 year period. So once we have all the numbers figured out we will know if there is enough value in the proposed
replacement sites plus the $66K to equal the converted site. After that the other requirements will need to be started.
On another note, for your reference so you understand what I was saying about the NPS and their response time, I sent in a conversion request last December and am still waiting for approval. Hopefully when the City submits everything to me and I prepare package for NPS, things will have changed in their office.
Susan, once again it’s been a pleasure to work with you over the years. Enjoy your new phase of life!! Any questions, let me know.
"...Things will have changed in their office" -- just what does that mean? A new administration in Washington?
So -- now what? The Zoning Commission hearing is 1 pm Thursday, Sept. 3 in City Hall, unless it gets postponed again.
The public is overwhelmingly opposed to this project. We'll see if that matters to anyone in power.
-- Elaine Hopkins