November 24, 2020

Pekin council schedules public hearing on proposed business district – News – Journal Star

The Pekin City Council unanimously voted to schedule a public hearing regarding a proposed Business Development District during Monday’s meeting.

“Several weeks ago, we had a public hearing on the Business Development District ordinance,” said City Manager Mark Rothert. “There was some discussion to go back and add in a 1% Hotel/Motel Tax to the BDD ordinance. That required us to go back and re-start the public hearing process.”

A public hearing on the BDD ordinance is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m., with another public meeting slated for Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. The council will consider the creation of a BDD at the Nov. 9 meeting.

A proposal to seek public assistance funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency passed with unanimous consent. The funding would reimburse the city for expenditures on personal protective equipment, sanitation and safety materials, and medical expenses. FEMA funding would cover 75% of the city’s eligible COVID-19 related expenses, according to Rothert, while reimbursement for the remaining 25% is available through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Support (CURES) program.

A resolution to apply for state funding through the Local CURES Economic Support Payments Grant Program also passed by a unanimous vote. The funding would reimburse the city for small business grants distributed through the local Small Business Assistance program.

“The State of Illinois recently announced … that they’re allowing up to $15 million be available statewide to local governments specifically that have created economic support programs for their local businesses and communities,” said Rothert.

The council authorized execution of tax-increment financing redevelopment agreements with two local businesses. The Collector’s Zone at 521 Court St., Pekin; and Salon Renaissance at 515 Court St, Pekin will each receive forgivable five-year loans of up to $30,000 from the city’s TIF District Special Allocation Fund for property improvement projects.

The council also unanimously approved an amendment to an existing TIF redevelopment agreement with Hamm’s Furniture Inc., at 347 Court St., Pekin. The amendment authorizes up to a $15,000 loan to help pay for additional costs related to stabilization of and improvements to the building.

“(Hamm’s Furniture owner Russ Hamm) is an outstanding business owner and dedicated to downtown,” said Mayor Mark Luft. “He stayed there even when times were bad and has paid into this program since its inception. I’m glad he’s decided to step up, continue to stay here, and do the improvement’s to the building.”

In other business:

– A resolution to approve an intergovernmental agreement for animal control services between the city and Tazewell County Animal Control passed by a unanimous vote.

– The council unanimously approved a resolution of financial support for a multi-use path along Stadium Drive. The path would connect Court Street to Pekin Community High School, Memorial Stadium, and the existing bike trail at the north end of Stadium Drive.

– An ordinance to reorganize the city’s Public Works Department and authorizing the recruiting and hiring of a Public Works Director passed by a unanimous vote.

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