By Christopher Johnson

As the world opens even more, business owners and municipalities alike are preparing for an increase in the presence of citizens and visitors who will be helping to “start-up” local economies again.

The difficulties have been very present over the past year and more for area business owners and municipalities alike. Contributions in the form of generated revenue have slowed, impacting village operations.

After Illinois Governor JB Pritzker made the decision to relax mandates and allow a more normal flow of interpersonal interactions, the Pecatonica Economic Development Committee readied itself for a return to enhanced-regular income from citizen and visitor video gaming machine play.

The Pecatonica Economic Development Committee’s existence relies on the dollars that are generated through video gaming play, courtesy of the approval of Ordinance 2014-01, which sent the dollars to EDC to manage.

Through Legislative action in the form of the passage of the Illinois Gaming Act, if a municipality allows Illinois video gambling, they will keep five percent of the net terminal income from licensed establishments.

As the State of Illinois views it, “net terminal income” means money put into a video gaming terminal, minus credits paid out to players.

Thousands of dollars a month are generated through tax dollars collected on video gaming terminals in the Village of Pecatonica.

The more that people have been playing, along with the increased “betting rate” many machines now offer, has indicated a spike in revenue, compared to the former Fiscal Year’s third and fourth quarter reporting periods.

Usage of those dollars is fairly discriminatory by design. When it comes to actually approving the release of dollars, only the citizen-elected Village Representatives can make motions and seconds towards approval.

Village enhancements such as new decorative lighting adoring the downtown corridor were funded through the Economic Development Committee,. A long-term commitment for payback was agreed upon by majority consensus.

Much of the available and projected revenue the Pecatonica EDC has to work with, ahead of the brief stoppage and slowdown to the economy, had been earmarked for long-term investments.

A substantial percentage is still available for new programs and concept development, via the administration of the council of three Village Trustees and community representatives.

Former projects funded by the Pecatonica EDC include the biking and walking trail head off Main Street along with the partial funding for the village’s sesquicentennial birthday.

Citizens who wish to address the Pec EDC, in an effort to present new programs or donation options are encouraged to attend during regular proceedings on the second Monday of every month beginning at 6pm.

Programs such as those mentioned on various social media outlets highlighting the decorative enhancements of the Pecatonica downtown are concepts with which the Pec EDC can fund.

The Economic Development Committee does report its monthly actions to the body of Village Trustees at the regular monthly Board Meeting on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the Tuesday night get together of officials, if they wish to present a concern or issue to Village Board Members.

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