DANVILLE – The Danville City Council approved a zoning permit for a cannabis cultivation center, and funding for Fourth of July fireworks at its meeting on Tuesday night. (See the agenda and meeting materials at this link.)
Council members voted 10-1 to grant a special use permit allowing Bourbonnais-based Alexander Real Properties to build the facility on the east edge of town. Ward 1 Ald. The facility would be operated by Green Growth Group, Inc. Brenda Brown cast the dissenting vote.
The project still needs a state permit. But Mayor Rickey Williams Junior says city approval is needed first.
“They must have zoning first”, said Williams, in response to a question from Public Works Chairman Mike Puhr of Ward 5. “They have submitted an application. But in order to be considered, they have to have to have zoning approval first. And that’s why the matter is before us this evening.”
The Danville City County approved zoning for a cultivation center at a different site on Eastgate Drive back in March. But Williams says the company behind that project withdrew.
This new proposal would open a cultivation center in a 25-thousand-square-foot building, to be built along Main Street (U.S. Route 136), just west of the Danville Correctional Center. The facility would sell the cannabis grown there on a wholesale basis to dispensaries and processors, not to the general public.
Danville already has a cannabis dispensary, which opened last month. The Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary on Lynch Road is owned by Cresco Labs. The company owns three cannabis cultivation centers in Illinois, but is not involved with the one proposed for Danville. (Find a January interview with a Cresco Labs spokesperson about the Danville dispensary at this link.)
In other action, Danville council members took a vote to fund a fireworks display on Independence Day, at a time when many communities have canceled crowd-attracting celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city council voted unanimously to hold a fireworks show at dusk on Saturday, July Fourth, at Danville Stadium. The cost of the $15,000 display would be split with the neighboring town of Tilton.
Mayor Rickey Williams Junior says the fireworks will provide a break from the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and what he called the “great difficulties and challenges we face as a nation and community.”
“I just feel like, now more than ever, it’s important for us to celebrate the freedom which God has thankfully given us in this country,” said Williams. “And this is one small way that I think we can show the people that we appreciate them, and that we’re celebrating them.”
While the fireworks will be launched from inside Danville Stadium, Williams says spectators will view the fireworks from the stadium parking lot, where social distancing is possible. For that reason, Williams told council members he has asked the display company, Central States Fireworks of Athens, Illinois, to concentrate on aerial fireworks, omitting ground displays.
The Tilton Village Board will vote on its share of the fireworks funding on Thursday. Williams says if Tilton board members should reject the idea, he hopes Danville will go ahead with the fireworks on its own.