Mayor Bill Crusinberry asked the Hoopeston City Council for guidance on his current policy when it comes to those seeking to establish gaming parlors in the city Tuesday night.
In his capacity as liquor commissioner, Crusinberry said he has seen people try and purchase empty buildings and obtain a liquor license with the express purpose of establishing a gaming parlor.
He said other towns have debated the issue of people buying empty buildings, installing a refrigerator and buying a liquor license simply to have the ability to set up gaming machines.
Crusinberry is concerned by this practice and has worked to prevent it in the city.
“When you do that, if it’s an out-of-town owner, 95 percent of that net money is going out of town,” he said.
Crusinberry said there are places in town that do have out-of-town owners that offer gaming, but those businesses have been established in Hoopeston for decades.
He said building owners have to have a liquor license that allows them to pour alcohol on the premises in order to have gaming machines.
Crusinberry said he has taken it upon himself to prevent more gaming in the city.
“I have just took it upon myself not to load up our town with any more gaming establishments,” he said.
Crusinberry said he didn’t want to divide up the gaming revenue generated by existing local businesses any further by allowing more gaming in the city.
He said he has turned down several people who were seeking liquor licenses for that reason.
“I think we’re really saturated with gaming in town,” Crusinberry said. “We used to have a lower limit on our liquor licenses and I’d like to look at that again.”
Crusinberry asked for input from the council and asked whether he should continue this practice.
Alderwoman Lourdine Florek said she supported Crusinberry’s policy on the issue.
Crusinberry said he plans on investigating the matter further to ensure that he’s not overstepping his bounds.
Alderman Joe Garrett asked if the council should look at developing an ordinance putting stricter limitations on how liquor licenses can be utilized in terms of gaming.
Alderman Jeff Wise agreed with Garrett on the need for an ordinance on the issue.
He said having an ordinance would allow Crusinberry to just point to the ordinance whenever someone inquires about setting up a gaming parlor.
Crusinberry said concurred with the idea of establishing an ordinance.
“That would be best to have it in writing,” he said.
Crusinberry said he would work something up for the council to consider on the matter.
In other business:
- The council approved a bid of $13,890 from Silver Bros. to clear the debris from a collapse building at 219 S. Market St. The motion passed 7-0 with Garrett abstaining.
Crusinberry said the bid doesn’t include landfill fees and that it would take a few weeks to get the work done since the city still needs to get a permit for the work from the state. Crusinberry said asbestos work has been completed on the project already.
- The council also approved adding two properties, 908 W. Washington and 406 E. Thompson, to the Central Illinois Land Bank demolition list.