By NICK VLAHOS
For The Weekly Post
PRINCEVILLE – After a gap of about a year, a member of the Rice family again is managing the Princeville Aquatic Center.
Landon Rice of Princeville assumed the part-time position in mid-June, according to Village Trustee Teresa Gilroy. She leads the committee that oversees the village-owned swimming facility, located at 620 Princeville Ave.
Rice is heading into his senior year at Knox College in Galesburg, where he is a defensive lineman on the football team. For about a decade through last year, the aquatic-center manager was his father, Nate Rice, who also is a Peoria Fire Department division chief.
In between the Rice tenures, Hillary Hartley was manager. During a Village Board meeting June 21, Gilroy said Hartley was fired because of issues last year and this year. Gilroy would not elaborate.
“Within two hours, I had a new one hired,” Gilroy said regarding Landon Rice, who will make $18 an hour.
The village personnel committee is expected to affirm Rice’s hiring when it meets July 5. During the Village Board meeting, Gilroy joked she wanted to keep Rice for the next five years at the aquatic center.
“I can’t give him that comfort by myself, but I know he’s a good, responsible kid,” Gilroy said. “I’ve known him since he was this big. When you get somebody like that and they know what they’re doing and they know how it runs, it’s much easier to sleep at night.”
The aquatic center is open from noon until 6 p.m. daily from late May until mid-to-late August, weather permitting, for general use. Rice has two assistant managers, Gilroy said. Employees ensure the pool receives proper chemicals and help oversee general order at the facility, among other duties.
In other business, the board approved a program under which the village will reimburse some residential-property owners up to $2,500 to help pay for completed exterior physical improvements.
The village will fund the program with $30,000 in tax-increment-financing money. Residential properties eligible for reimbursement must be in TIF District 1, which consists of most of downtown and west Princeville. Property owners can check their tax bills or call Village Hall to determine eligibility.
A similar program exists for commercial properties. The board had budgeted $50,000 for that, which was reduced to $20,000. The shift in funds was reflected in the FY 2023 budget, which the board also approved. The general fund projects revenues of $795,050 and expenses of $750,010.
By NICK VLAHOS