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Peru OKs zoning to allow pot dispensary

Economic chiefs talk to city council

Peru approved an ordinance this week amending the zoning ordinances pertaining to adult use cannabis. This allows the soon-to-be legal establishments in areas zoned B-4 on the city’s zoning map. It also allows for growers or cultivators to build facilities in areas zoned M-2.

There are stipulations in place on how close a cannabis store can be to schools, day care facilities or residential areas.

Peru also passed a 3% tax, like other local cities, on the sale of marijuana should a store choose to locate within the city.

CEO hopes to bring in jobs

The new president and chief executive officer of North Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation introduced himself Monday at Peru’s city council meeting.

Mike Kirchhoff, who took over the position this month after past president and CEO Ivan Baker resigned, said he has more than 30 years of economic development experience in both the public and private sectors. He said he has conducted about $2 billion in deals and created 15,000 jobs in various communities under his guidance.

He has worked with communities as small as Tuscola and Jacksonville, Ill., and cities as large as Indianapolis and Kansas City. Kirchhoff said his most recent stop was in the Clinton, Iowa region, which he billed to developers as a west suburb of Chicago.

He said the La Salle, Bureau and Putnam county region may be an easier sell on that description.

“There is absolutely growth coming this direction,” Kirchhoff said.

Before laying out what he thinks the areas vision should be, Kirchhoff said he wanted to meet and local leaders and hear about their goals.

Following Kirchhoff, Luke Tomsha, founder of the Perfectly Flawed Foundation, gave an update on what his group is looking to accomplish in the area. He thanked the city for providing support at the Back2School Bash, which took place on Sunday and served about 800 people, including 500 youth.

That’s one of the foundation’s main goals is to provide support and enrichment activities to people in the area as a way to combat the drug and opioid crisis.

Feeding off of Kirchhoff, Tomsha said jobs are important to the area, but if you do not have capable, well-rounded people in the workforce, those roles can be tough to fill.

Events on Peru streets

— La Salle-Peru Township High School’s homecoming parade was OK’d for 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. No-parking signs will be placed around Rotary Park.

— And the city OK’d the route for the annual IVCH Fall Fitness 5K run/walk on Oct. 12.

Brett Herrmann can be reached at (815) 220-6933 or bherrmann@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SpringValley.

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