Tuesday, city council voted 10-1 to approve the hiring of consultant firm, Dewberry Architects, to serve as the city's eyes and ears on the project. The hotel is being transformed into a full service Marriott, and is currently under construction.
The firm will spend about four hours a week monitoring the construction site and its progress. It will then report back to the city. The firm will also assist the city with pay requests and inform the city manager if the project is falling off schedule.
It would cost the city about $100,000. The original hotel agreement called for some type of oversight by the city once the project began. Councilman Gary Sandberg (at-large), the only person to vote against, believes this should have been addressed before construction started.
As a liaison for the city, the firm will also make sure the project is employing enough of a minority workforce and that everything is being built according to the plans.
The city also made a decision that should bring it one step closer to construction on Peoria's Warehouse District.
The city voted to approve a draft for Phase III of the project. The city must submit final drafts to idot by July 20th in order to meet requirements for a $10 million grant. If approved by idot, the city should receive the funds by early August.
The city says it needs these funds in order to move forward. Once that happens, bids for the project should be advertised in October. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2013.