Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees May 17 Meeting




by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees heard a handful of public comments about the possibility of lifting the village’s ban on video gambling at the May 17 Committee of the Whole meeting, but the trustees did not say whether they favor the proposal.

Laredo Hospitality, which operates video gambling establishments under the names Stella’s Place and Shelby’s in many suburbs, has approached the village about opening a business in the village.

Laredo wants to operate establishments that would serve wine, beer and food. Village manager Timothy Wiberg said that Laredo wants to open a business with five video gambling machines in a strip mall in the 3900 block of West Devon Avenue.

Wiberg said that village staff and police chief Robert LaMantia visited establishments run by Laredo in Franklin Park, Prospect Heights, Waukegan and Wheeling and discovered that the businesses are clean establishments with a steady flow of customers. He said that average annual revenue for municipalities from the 38 Laredo establishments in Chicago area is about $24,000.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board, the average amount that was played at Laredo establishments last year was $5,776,771.03 and the amount that was won was $5,298,726.12. The establishments make about $478,044.91 on average, the state gets $119,511.82, and municipalities get $23,092.35.

The highest amount netted was about $1.2 million at a Stella’s in McHenry, which received about $60,000.

LaMantia said that officials at local police departments that he talked to told him that the businesses pose no problems.

Kathy Gilroy, who is a resident of Villa Park and an opponent of gambling, said that gambling leads to addiction, bankruptcy, crime, and suicide and poses a greater affect on society than alcoholism. Gilroy said allowing Gilroy would lead "undesirable elements" to come to the village.

"You can legislate video gaming, but people who have affection for it will find it elsewhere," Laredo Hospitality chief executive officer Gary Leff said. "We are very responsible about our entertainment experience, and this will also create taxes for Lincolnwood."

At the regular village board meeting, trustees approved an $88,945.66 contract with OSA Integrate Solutions for the purchase and installation of broadcast video equipment. The village has experienced a failure in broadcasting its village meetings on several occasions.

The board also approved a special use and zoning code variations that will allow the owner of a building at 7370 N. Cicero Ave. to add four parking spaces to an existing six-space lot.

The trustees also approved a $1,145,720 contract with H&H Electric for street light improvements. The project will include replacing lights on Touhy Avenue between Cicero Avenue and Karlov Avenue and the retrofitting lights on Touhy between Karlov Avenue and Hamlin Avenue.

The village board also approved a contract with Alltown Bus Service to provide transportation for park day camps and the swim team. The cost will be $234.73 per trip for service within 30 miles, $257.25 for service above 30 miles, $234.73 for shuttle service within the village, $255.23 per swim meeting within 30 miles and $378.23 above 30 miles, and a $70.73 fee for canceling a trip.

The board also approved a $47,100 contract with Christopher B. Burke Engineering for engineering services for a new parking lot between Morse and Lunt avenues.

Mayor Gerald Turry announced the winner of the village sticker contest and presented a certificate to Lincoln Hall student Angelina Boudouvas and her parents. The sticker shows a turkey running and wearing glasses.

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