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Pekin City Council Extends Mayor's Emergency Powers

Pekin Mayor Mark Luft sits alone in the council chambers on Mon., March 23, 2020. The other members teleconferenced in to comply with mandates limiting the number of people in one room.

The Pekin City Council voted unanimously Monday to extend the emergency powers of the mayor and city manager for another two weeks. Last Wednesday, Mayor Mark Luft declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. It grants him or Rothert the ability to pay bills and take other actions to keep Pekin running if the full city council wasn't able to meet due to the lack of a quorum.

The Pekin City Council met by teleconference Monday night to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order no more than 10 people gather at a time.

The Pekin City Council is stepping in to stop the Kroger store from getting a big property tax cut.

Kroger is requesting a nearly $1 million cut in the valuation of its Broadway grocery store, from $1.9 million to around $980,000.

School districts receive the bulk of Illinois property tax money. Pekin city attorney Kate Swise said Pekin's two school districts will join with the city to fight the reassessment before the state's Property Tax Appeal Board. 

"It will be intervened on on behalf of all three bodies. The city and the two school districts. And so the cost will be split among the three public bodies, as well," Swise said.

Kroger also sought a property valuation reduction on the property last year. The company received a tax bill of just over $170,000 last year.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.