Pekin ‘State of the City’ luncheon celebrates progress made, more change to come

Mayor Mark Luft at Pekin's 2022 'State of the City' luncheon.
Mayor Mark Luft at Pekin's 2022 'State of the City' luncheon.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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PEKIN (WEEK) - After two years of COVID, the City of Pekin says it is ‘back on track’ and is now looking at the future.

At the city’s annual ‘State of the City’ luncheon held at the Pekin Moose Lodge, Mayor Mark Luft said they are putting plans put on the hold due to the pandemic back on the priority list.

“We’ve worked very hard,” Luft said. “We have a good team at City Hall, and we’re continuing to move forward.”

Some of the agenda items for the entire Pekin community include a new Amazon fulfillment warehouse now under construction in North Pekin and a slew of new apartment projects across the city, to attract more businesses and workers.

“Everybody talks about wanting to be in other communities,” Luft said. “We want to be at the forefront of that.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy McCoy says their projects are aimed at filling job vacancies left by the pandemic, by both attracting from outside and keeping young people invested in the community.

“We need folks to fill the jobs that we have available,” McCoy said. “So talent attraction is a big part of what we new doing in the City of Pekin.”

The mayor says there’s still a lot of work to do to get to the finish line, including continued construction on Court Street, now scheduled to finish next year.

Luft vowed to see those projects to completion and take in the community’s concerns.

“if something inside you says this isn’t right, it’s out of date, it doesn’t factor into where we are now, it’s holding up business, it’s giving us a bad reputation, bring it to my desk and I will get it changed,” Luft said.

Coming up later this year, the city will host its annual Fourth of July celebration and the 50th Marigold Festival this Fall.

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