The East Peoria City Council has approved plans for a second recreational marijuana dispensary.

The council voted 4-1 to approve Roy Sorce’s proposal to open a dispensary at 300 South Main Street, in the shopping center across from Kroger. Commissioner Mike Sutherland voted no, as he has on all previous cannabis-related ordinances before the council.

A previous location nearer to Sorce’s cannabis craft growing operation on N. Main was rejected due to its proximity to a daycare.

“I do know when the city put out the notice in regards to this latest ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals meeting], there was no one opposed to this location,” said Mayor John Kahl.

A small structure near the roadway will be demolished to allow the proposed dispensary location to meet the required 1,000 foot distance from a daycare.

Commissioner Dan Decker said the zoning fits in this case, unlike the previous location.

Sorce now must receive approval from state regulators for his new dispensary.

NuMed also operates a medical and recreational cannabis dispensary at 504 Riverside Drive.

Sewer bill frustration crops up again

East Peoria city commissioners again defended recent increases in water and sewer bills during comments during Tuesday’s meeting.

An added sewer capital charge to pay for a new wastewater treatment plant has many city residents griping about higher bills, particularly on social media.

Sutherland said in many cases, that’s due to consumption.

“The hard part is, during COVID, with the kids home, extra laundry, swimming pool, that’s where a lot of it lies,” Sutherland said. “So if you have a really big bill, you can get mad if you want, because of the sewer increase, but you need to take a look at your own house, and your own usage of what’s going on there.”

Kahl said residents should look not only at the increase in dollar amounts on their bills, but also water usage.

The mayor said if a household used the same amount of water in July and August, when the increase went into effect, a resident’s average bill would have gone up by just $11.10 – not hundreds, as some on social media claim.

“It’s based off of consumption. And if your bill went up dramatically, chances are, you used more water,” said Kahl.

Kahl said the city plans to release a video to describe how the new sewer capital rate affects bills.

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