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Standard Setting the


de La Salle, with a fleet of canoes and 33 men, is believed to be one of the first European explorers to visit the area. In 1680, his crew constructed a winter refuge in what is now the southeast quarter of section one in Pekin Township. Although travelers and Native Americans frequented the area, it was not until the summer of 1824 that Jonathon Tharp built a small log cabin on the high east bank of the Illinois River and encouraged his father, friends and other family members to follow him. The local Native American residents, the Pottawatomi Indians, and their Chief, Shawubena, were friendly with these settlers. In 1849, with a population of 1,500, the city incorporated and received its City Charter. Residents adopted a mayor/ aldermen form of government, which was later abandoned in 1911 for the commission form. Since 1995, a council-manager system has governed Pekin and helped to set the city’s standards. The City Council consists of a mayor and four council members, who are elected to staggered four-year terms. In addition, a professional city manager is hired by the City Council to manage the daily operations of city government.

A Look at the City’s Services Citizens of Pekin enjoy a number of services provided by the city, including:

• Groundwater Guardian Team • Recycling Program, with weekly curbside pickup • Garbage Removal, with weekly curbside pickup • Yard Waste Removal, with weekly curbside pickup between April and January • Designated snow routes • Daily bus service, including service to the Peoria County Courthouse and Illinois Central College Founded in 1860, the Pekin Fire Department is a 49-member, multi-service emergency response and life safety organization. The Pekin Fire Department is an ISO class 3 fire department. All members are full-time employees of the city and are trained in the latest emergency medical technologies, including the basic defibrillator level. In fact, 28 of the city’s current firefighters are further certified at the intermediate or paramedic level. The department also staffs a Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue Team and provides water rescue/emergency services to area lakes and portions of the Illinois River. The department conducts CPR classes, fire extinguisher training and other educational programs, as well as routine fire safety inspections. Pekin’s citizens are protected by 54 police officers. These include investigators,

drug task force officers, a school liaison officer, a crime prevention officer, K-9 officers and a D.A.R.E. officer. Since 1849, Pekin has served as the county seat for Tazewell County, which has a population of 128,485. As the hub of county government, Pekin enjoys the convenience of hosting the state attorney’s offices, the County Health Department, the sheriff’s office and the new Tazewell County Justice Center. Pekin is also home to other county offices, including those of the auditor, the regional superintendent of schools, the county clerk, the county treasurer, the county coroner and the circuit clerk, as well as facilities for the County Board, the Zoning & Land Use Office, the Jury Commission, and the Court Services Office. The State of Illinois Office Building, located on South 2nd Street in downtown Pekin, includes several state agencies in one convenient location. Built in 1986, this office building houses the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Career Link, the Department of Public Aid, the Secretary of State Drivers License Facility, the Department of Human Services and United Workforce Development. In addition, our state legislators have local offices in Pekin.

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

>> Pekin Has a Long History of Great Leadership That Continues Today


Pekin, IL 0418ce  

Pekin: What a Pleasant Surprise! .....................................2 A Well-Rounded Community .............................................

Pekin, IL 0418ce  

Pekin: What a Pleasant Surprise! .....................................2 A Well-Rounded Community .............................................