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Archive for January 27th, 2015

La Salle is buying a new fire truck

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2015

You notice a shiny, red fire truck when it goes rolling by. The La Salle Fire Department is updating its fleet with a new Pierce pumper truck. Fire Chief Andy Bacidore says it is the kind of truck that they will use on most of their calls.

The city council approved the purchase Tuesday night. The $455,000 truck is being financed through Oshkosh Capital, the parent company of Pierce.

Bacidore says they should have the truck in seven to eight months. It will replace their 1988 pumper truck that they bought when the new fire station was built. He remembers both the truck and building costing less than $500,000. He says you can tell how much the times have changed.

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Oglesby was the cultivation center pick for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2015

Oglesby and Ottawa appear to be the biggest sufferers of inaction when it comes to medical marijuana.

Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration released paperwork showing former Governor Pat Quinn had recommendations for medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries. For whatever reason, Quinn didn’t grant the licenses before Rauner took over.

GTI Holdings was recommended to get a cultivation center license to build in Oglesby near Love’s Travel Stop. PharmCann, LLC was the pick to build a dispensary north of Interstate 80 in Ottawa along Columbus Street.

Recommendations were made to Quinn around Christmas time.

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Election ballot in Streator will include property tax increase to help school budget

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2015

The sales job begins for a property tax increase in Streator.

The Streator Elementary School Board is hosting a tax referendum informational Tuesday night at 5:30 inside Northlawn Junior High. Another informational meeting is Wednesday night at 6 inside Kimes Elementary.

If voters say yes to the April tax increase, you’d see a $250 jump in your property tax bill on a home valued at $100,000.

The school district’s education fund has a negative balance of $2.7 million. The tax hike would add 75 cents to the education fund levy.

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Peru officials want to hire extra help for the city engineer’s office

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2015

Peru has a long list of infrastructure projects and the city council thinks it would be cost effective to hire another person to keep the engineering work in-house. An engineering technician would work alongside engineer Eric Carls according to Alderman Dave Waldorf.

Waldorf says the salary hasn’t been discussed yet, but thinks the new position would pay for itself.  It would be a fulltime position. He says they would be looking for someone with an engineering technology degree.

The city council agreed Monday night to begin looking to hire someone.  Alderman Rodney Perez was the only alderman against the decision, saying he thought they should hold off.

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Peru discusses Amuesment Tax and movie theater incentives

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2015

Keeping a movie theater in Peru will likely mean the city will have to offer an incentive to the developer. City officials and their attorneys have been working on a development agreement with DMAR, LLC to have a new Carmike Cinemas built north of Hy-Vee.

DMAR wants to buy the land, build the theater, and sell it to a company that would lease it to Carmike Cinemas according to attorney Doug Schweickert. He explained the situation during a city council meeting Monday night.

Schweickert says they have tried to get the theater to stay in the mall but the theater doesn’t plan on staying. Their mall lease expires at the end of 2015.

City officials want to at least keep the theater in Peru, but according to Schweickert the developer wants an incentive. The proposal as it stands now would have the city giving the developer $875,000 after the first ticket sells. Schweickert says the developer had wanted the money sooner but the city wanted a performance bond.

Movie-goers would be making up the incentive by paying a seven percent Amusement Tax. The tax would be collected by the theater and paid to the city. The council could have approved the tax Monday night but didn’t take action.

Once approved, it could start as soon as March 1. Events held by non-profit clubs and schools would be exempt.

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