“We are on target,” Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara said of the city’s work at the cannabis growing facility. “Barring something falling from the sky, we should make it.” Green Thumb Industries has been buzzing recently with cranes and construction equipment as the cannabis grower pushes to complete an eight-figure expansion (listed at nearly $13 million in its building permit) of its Oglesby growing facility. The city’s electrical upgrades are on pace to be finished in late March.
Will the expansion of Oglesby’s cannabis growing facility be completed by spring time? City workers have reported their end of the job will be completed on time for sure.
Construction equipment and heavy vehicles have been buzzing about Green Thumb Industries through much of what so far has been a mild winter. Mayor Dom Rivara said city workers have been on site laying the groundwork for a major upgrade of GTI’s electrical service and have made much progress.
“We are on target,” Rivara said Tuesday. “Barring something falling from the sky, we should make it.”
Soon after recreational cannabis was legalized on Jan. 1, GTI told Rivara they planned a $10.5 million expansion, scheduled to launch this spring, with 40-50 new jobs to follow.
Commissioner Jason Curran oversees the city’s electric department and he agreed the city is close to achieving its fingers-crossed goals to meet GTI halfway.
The two question marks were a new transformer and underground boring. Curran said the transformer arrived a week early and is “almost 100% hooked up.” The boring was one of the few tasks that required outside help and Curran said the electric department, while still understaffed, has been able to address all remaining work.
“Their goal, and this might change, was to be operational by May 1,” Curran said. “Our goal was to get them everything they needed well before that date.”
GTI didn’t immediately respond to a request for a construction update and the cannabis facility is under tight security, precluding any onsite inspection by the news media.
The project has, however, picked up speed in recent weeks. On Jan. 6, the city council took receipt of quarterly building permits and the entry for GTI valued the project at $12,996,500, a 23% increase over the $10.5 million projection GTI issued when it announced the expansion in September.
The upshot is the city looks forward to an as-yet-undetermined boost in its tax value and in electrical sales, which could lead to residential tax and rate relief.
La Salle County won’t be able to re-compute Oglesby’s tax base until GTI’s project in finished and added to the tax rolls; but consider that Utica shaved its tax rate 8% a year after the sand mines added $3.1 million to the village’s tax base. GTI’s investment is more than four times higher.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or TCollins@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_Court.