Pekin City Council Charts Court Street Revitalization

Jun 22, 2020

The Pekin City Council is setting the stage for a major rehabilitation of Court Street.

The council approved several engineering and construction agreements Monday related to several chunks  of the project to rehabilitate Pekin's heavily-traveled main thoroughfare.

Pekin City Manager Mark Rothert hopes to submit an application to the state this week for a $5 million Rebuild Illinois grant toward the project.

"We received $20 million in capital funding through the capital bill. However, the Court Street project is $30 million," said Rothert. "So, we have a $10 million gap that we are looking to fill in part with grant money that (is) out there and grant opportunities that we should seek to fill that gap."

The city also has its own capital money set aside to contribute to the project.

The larger project looks to reconstruct Court Street from 8th Street to Veterans Drive in several segments. The Rebuild Illinois grant would specificially fund construction from Parkside to Hilltop next spring.

TIF loan approved 

The nonprofit Pekin Outreach Initiative is purchasing a building to serve as a base of operations for its programs addressing homelessness and hunger in the city.

The coalition of 15 churches and agencies have provided meals for students and people in need for several years.

The group's new building on Elizabeth Street will expand those services to include showers, a laundry, free legal and financial advice, and a temporary shelter.

Pekin Mayor Mark Luft supported a forgivable $30,000 TIF loan for the project passed by the Pekin City Council on Monday.

"Not only is this the right thing to do, it's a branch on the tree of our community that we haven't really addressed yet," he said.

The loan will pay for repairs to the building and upgrade access for people with disabilities.

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