Pot money helps revitalize Delavan
DELAVAN (25 NEWS) - The pot industry is revolutionizing one Central Illinois city year after year. It’s a marijuana grow house that not only brings job opportunities, but indirectly redevelops the Tazewell County area.
“We really want the community to grow,” said Eric Diekhoff, General Manager at Revolution Global.
Diekhoff runs the facility in Delavan, which is now finishing up years of renovations that expand it to more than 150,000 sq ft.
“We never thought about a cannabis facility coming into town, that never crossed anybody’s minds, but it’s been a big benefit to the community,” said Diekhoff.
Now, he’s working to revitalize downtown. He bought four buildings that once drew people to the city of under 2,000 people.
“It’s kind of sad to see the main street right here empty on the weekends and on evenings,” said Diekhoff.
Although, Revolution Global is also helping the rest of the city. Delavan receives about $300,000 per year and another $100,000 goes to the school. That money comes from just the property taxes Revolution is paying.
“Now, with their footprint being doubled, that will money will double as well,” said Mayor Liz Skinner.
Mayor Skinner says as a result, the city has been able to improve infrastructure. They recently added a new water tower. As well as invest in current and future shopkeepers.
“We also are in the position to offer incentives,” Skinner continued, “It might involve purchasing equipment that’s needed by a business.”
That’s the goal for Revolution and the city in 2022. Bring in more, but also help the current ones.
“We’re not coming in here to compete with them, it’s a symbiotic relationship that we want with all businesses in the community,” said Diekhoff.
Diekhoff is hoping to eventually have around 300 employees at the cannabis facility. Starting wages are at $15 an hour.
He also plans to help get the shuttered storefronts up and running again, in the next six months.
“To be able to have this street filled with cars again, that’s going to make me feel pretty good,” said Diekhoff.
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