Peru agrees to extend utilities, update roadways for new roofing materials manufacturer

City, manufacturer can recoup costs with set up of TIF District, agreement says

The Peru City Council has agreed to extend water and sewer utilities, construct a roadway, repave an existing roadway, adopt a tax increment financing district and sell parcels of land it acquires to a roofing materials manufacturer, which intends to invest $80 million and build a minimum 400,000 square foot facility just north of Interstate 80 and just west of Plank Road.

The idea is to generate at least 70 well-paying jobs, along with boosting the city’s property tax base and manufacturing sector. The city plans to have a TIF district established by the end of June, so the company can break ground shortly after July 4, the council has said in public meetings.

Further details are published in a pre-development agreement the City Council approved unanimously April 28 with Building Materials Manufacturing Company, a Delaware corporation.

Building Materials Manufacturing Company is operated by GAF, which is based out of New Jersey and is North America’s largest manufacturer of roofing materials.

In the agreement, Peru agrees to acquire 186.8 acres of land in both La Salle and Bureau counties, north of Interstate 80 and west of Plank Road. This area provides rail access to the north, primary road access to the north from the existing Industrial Park Boulevard and access from the south from a proposed secondary roadway to be called Master-Builder Way. The city will construct Master Builder-Way and resurface Industrial Park Boulevard, per the terms of the agreement.

Roughly 106.5 acres of the Bureau County parcel, known as Lot 1, will be sold to GAF for $10, per the agreement, as long as GAF holds up its end of the construction agreement. The city will make a third lot of 21.3 acres in La Salle County available to GAF first for $25,000 per acre. The city also must give GAF a reasonable opportunity to purchase a second lot, consisting of 30.5 acres in Bureau County, per the agreement.

The city has agreed to extend water and sewer utility services to Lot 1 at its cost, but extension of services to other lots in the project would be paid for by GAF.

The city of Peru can recoup its costs through the tax increment built in TIF district.

With the creation of a TIF district, GAF will be reimbursed all eligible project costs not to exceed a total of $2.5 million over the 23-year life of the TIF fund. GAF, however, will not receive payments until the city recovers its project costs through the increment in the TIF district.

If GAF fails to meet the schedule laid out in the economic development agreement, the city may recover $3.5 million of its project costs.

A public hearing will be conducted 6 p.m. Monday, June 6, to establish the TIF, then the council is expected to finalize it at its Monday, June 20, meeting. Additionally, an enterprise zone expansion is planned to include the new manufacturer.

“This is a step in the new development for the city of Peru,” said Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski at the April 28 special council meeting. “A lot of people put a lot of hours and time into this project. The team has been absolutely fabulous. It’s been a great process, but it’s still a process.”

The City Council is working with Jacob & Klein, LTD for legal services in setting up the TIF, as well as creating the economic development agreement.