The city of Peru is planning on providing $10,000 in scholarships annually for student residents to attend Illinois Valley Community College.
In the first year of the program, five students would be awarded $1,000 apiece for the school year, which would be $500 per semester. Then in the second year, five more students would be awarded $1,000 apiece and the previous five students would continue to receive $1,000 for the school year until they complete the two-year term.
The scholarship funds would come from the city’s video gaming revenue at this time. In 2021, 35 Peru establishments operating 194 terminals generated $7.5 million in net income. The city receives 5% of the income, which amounted to $375,618. Establishments keep about 33% of the profit, split between its distributor. Despite previous discussions by the council, video gaming terminal fees were not raised or discussed Monday.
Alderman Mike Sapienza has said he wanted to spend marijuana sales tax revenue toward education, but he is pleased to see gambling revenue going for the effort. Other aldermen suggested the city could seek to use marijuana sales tax revenue in part to donate to a treatment or rehabilitation center, but marijuana sales tax revenue is not expected to come until possibly 2023.
Sapienza said IVCC would choose the students who receive the scholarships. The city would be able to set its own parameters for the scholarship and will do so in its next phase of putting the program together, he said.
In other items Monday, the City Council:
- Proclaimed April 10-16 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, recognizing telecommunicators who were invited to the meeting. Peru Police Deputy Chief Sarah Raymond said first responders relay on dispatchers and Fire Chief Jeff King said they are important to emergency response.
- Approved $1,000 to the Peru CSO banner program to erect poles to place banners on North Peoria Street.
- Approved purchase of $33,056 in switchgear from Anixter Power Solutions/WESCO for Pohar Crossing subdivision.
- Approved purchase of $42,840 for a 2012 International 7400 SFA 4 x 2 Thompson truck and trailer.
- Approved the purchase of a four-ton Falcon Recycle and Hot Box trailer from Midwest Paving Equipment Inc. for $36,304, which will be used to put new blacktop on roadways and fill potholes. The equipment is not expected to be delivered for 90 days, King said.
- Approved the purchase of a $51,979 2021 GMC Sierra to be used for the engineering and zoning department.