Pekin Mayor Mark Luft began Monday’s meeting by reading a declaration on behalf of the Pekin City Council to honor a local hero.


According to the declaration, Pekin school bus driver Beth Snider, while on her route Sept. 1, saw an unattended infant wandering near the street. She stopped, approached the child cautiously, and carried it to safety before it could move into traffic.


"This is very special for the city, it’s very special for the Bus Department, and it’s very special for me," Luft stated. "I’ve known Beth for about 35 years."


Before proceeding to new business, the council voted unanimously to postpone action on a proposed ordinance designating and approving a Business Development District (BDD).


According to Pekin City Manager Mark Rothert, the purposes of creating a BDD would be to strengthen the tax base of the business district area, to ensure opportunities for the district’s development or redevelopment, and to promote commercial growth. Businesses within a BDD can levy an additional sales tax of up to 1 % on eligible goods sold. Funds generated by the additional sales tax could then be used for eligible costs within the BDD including building construction, public infrastructure improvements, remodeling of existing structures and property assembly costs.


The council also unanimously voted to postpone an ordinance that would reduce the city’s Sewer Capital Improvement Fee. The ordinance was proposed to mitigate the tax burden on Pekin residents that would result from the establishment of a BDD.


The council unanimously passed an ordinance to approve the local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Support (CURES) program financial support conditions and certification. The city is eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1,406,081 through the CURES program, Rothert said. The Local CURE program, funded through financial assistance the state of Illinois acquired from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, allows municipalities reimbursement for expenses that comply with the program’s terms and certifications.


"The city anticipates eligible expenses through Dec. 31 to include payroll, person protective equipment, medical expenses and projects related to mitigating the effect of COVID-19," Rothert added.


In other business:


- A request submitted by Leman Property Management Co. to rezone a 1.62-acre parcel of land at 740 Prince St., Pekin, from one-family residential to multi-family residential passed with unanimous consent.


- An ordinance to approve the purchase of property at 2708 Allentown Road for $28,224 passed by a 6-1 margin, with Council member Rick Hilst casting the dissenting vote. Acquisition of the property will provide the city with the necessary right-of way to complete a road project at the site.


- The council unanimously passed a resolution to allow East Court Village (ECV) LLC a partial release on its mortgage on about 1.2 acres of land at the corner of South Veterans Drive and Commercial Street. ECV wishes to sell the land to a third party. ECV will also provide the proceeds of the sale of the lot to the City, totaling $325,000 that will be credited against the loan balance that ECV has with the city.


- A resolution for the approval of a Verizon Connect GPS Tracker contract passed by a unanimous vote. Verizon will replace the city’s existing 54 GPS trackers with 72 trackers to accommodate vehicles that have been added to the city’s fleet.


- The Council unanimously voted to accept bids from and enter into non-exclusive contracts with Hunter Hydro Vac Inc., and Hoerr Construction Inc., for biannual cleaning of the city’s State Street lift station. The cleaning includes that station’s pump room, bar screen room, and overflow basin.


- A resolution to donate two permanent easements to Fletcher Hitting Center at 1315 Derby St, Pekin, passed with unanimous approval. The easements would allow the property owner to construct concrete footings underground to support the existing building.


- The council unanimously voted to allocate $18,180.00 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the rehabilitation of 1604 Caroline St., Pekin.