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GTI, Speedway to invest $16.5 million into Oglesby

Cannabis grower's building permit allows for $12 million job

Construction on the GTI cannabis-growing project at Oglesby is about to get revved up.
Construction on the GTI cannabis-growing project at Oglesby is about to get revved up.

Green Thumb Industries and Speedway have filed building permits in Oglesby and assigned dollar figures to their investments. In both cases, the numbers came in higher than expected.

Monday, the Oglesby City Council accepted a quarterly building permit summary showing $16.8 million in forthcoming construction. The two projects that leaped off the page were GTI, the cannabis growing facility that plans a big expansion, and the Speedway travel plaza.

GTI had previously told the city they’re investing $10.5 million; but the building permit showed a figure of $12,996,500. Speedway, on the other hand, was coy about its investment but indicated it would be comparable to Peru’s $1.5 million project; the building permit showed $3.5 million.

“I’m excited,” said Mayor Dom Rivara, visibly pleased. Rivara said he expected a significant boost to the city’s tax base as well as ancillary benefits when the projects are completed and added to the tax rolls.

GTI told the city in September they planned a $10.5 million expansion of its current growing facility, scheduled to launch this spring, and 40-50 new jobs.

Last spring, the city approved Speedway’s petitions to develop a 4,608-square-foot plaza on 9 acres. Speedway noted the plaza will cater more to passenger vehicles than heavy trucks, giving it services distinct from those at nearby Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.

Other matters:

* Rivara pressed for the Oglesby Police Department to step up its hiring of a new police officer, complaining of overtime that’s approaching $16,000.

* The council approved the purchase of a storage unit for salt at a cost of $31,841.

* A meeting soon will be set to dial back Senica Square; Rivara said bids came it an unaffordable $1.5 million.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_Court.

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