PEORIA (WEEK) - Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis gave his final state of the city address on Wednesday, and spent a big part of it hyping the upcoming OSF Healthcare Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Ardis gave the leadership and fundraising team behind the project this year's outstanding community service award. Ardis is also OSF's philanthropy chair.
The cancer center will have state of the art technology that's not available when it's built. There's no firm completion date, but the mayor said it could be 2023.
"I promise you that nothing will have a bigger impact on our community in the coming decade than the building and completion of the comprehensive cancer center," said Ardis.
"I know the impact it will have on revitalizing and setting our community on a new course for future success," he added.
Among other topics, Ardis there's need for pension reform.
"If not addressed, it will bankrupt Illinois. It's not if, but when, and when is coming at us like a rocket," Ardis said.
"Please tell your state reps and senators to address this situation in the spring session," said Ardis.
As for the fight against COVID-19, Ardis said "there's somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel."
"We're all looking forward to the day mass vaccinations lead to herd immunity and bring COVID-19 under control," said Ardis.
He also thanked Peorians for letting him serve as mayor for more than a decade. He asked that everyone vote in the April election to determine his replacement. City council member Rita Ali and Jim Montelongo were the top two vote getters in Tuesday's primary and are vying to be the city's next mayor.