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$10.5 million marijuana-growing investment coming to Oglesby

The GTI cannabis-growing facility on the west side of Oglesby has stood empty for years, but won't remain that way for long. Oglesby's mayor this week learned that the company's investment in 2020 in the community will total $10.5 million and the business will employ 30-40 people.
The GTI cannabis-growing facility on the west side of Oglesby has stood empty for years, but won't remain that way for long. Oglesby's mayor this week learned that the company's investment in 2020 in the community will total $10.5 million and the business will employ 30-40 people.

Oglesby’s mayor said he missed a digit when he announced Green Thumb Industries is investing $1.5 million into Oglesby’s growing facility.

They’re actually investing $10.5 million.

Dom Rivara told the NewsTribune his math was off — happily, in this case — and the cannabis grower issued a statement Thursday confirming the corrected figure.

GTI said the expansion project likely will start in the spring of 2020 after engineering design and permitting stages.

“GTI looks forward to bringing additional jobs to Oglesby as we invest in expansion and increase capacity in Illinois to meet increased demand from the medical program and adult use sales beginning Jan. 1, 2020,” the company said in a statement, confirming the eight-figure (not seven-figure) investment.

Rivara made the announcement at Monday’s city council meeting and a call to GTI was not quickly returned, which precluded immediately verifying the dollar figure of the investment. Thursday, the company confirmed the corrected value as well as Rivara’s report of 40-50 new jobs.

The timing is good for Oglesby because GTI’s investment should offset money slated to come off Oglesby’s tax rolls in 2020.

Oglesby is scheduled to lose tax dollars stemming from Buzzi Unicem’s sale of more than 2,600 acres to the state for an expansion of Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks. The sale means once-taxable land becomes tax-exempt in 2020.

Oglesby was at one point projected to lose $45,000. While that figure appears inflated, the city will need to supplement some of that lost revenue. A $10.5 million corporate investment will help.

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

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