Trustees reject bid for video gambling




by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees decided at the June 7 meeting of the Committee of the Whole to not lift the village’s ban on video gambling.

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

Laredo wanted to operate establishments that would serve wine, beer and food and open a business with five video gambling machines in a strip mall in the 3900 block of West Devon Avenue. The 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.

"Most of the people who have approached me were overwhelmingly against approving gaming in the village," Trustee Barry Bass said. "I’m opposed to it."

Trustee Craig Klatzko said that operating video gambling "is not the right image for Lincolnwood." Klatzko called lifting the ban on video gambling "village image destruction."

Mayor Gerald Turry, who initially was in favor of the proposal and who said that it would not harm the village, said that he withdrew his support for the proposal because village residents are not in favor of video gambling.

"Some citizens have concerns and we can respected that," Laredo Hospitality chief executive officer Gary Leff said. "Some of the concerns were a bit overblown, but I thank you for putting in the time to consider this. Should something change in the future, we would definitely be interested in coming back."

Also at the Committee of the Whole meeting, assistant village manager Douglas Petroshius said that the village would implement a new citizen request management system on its Web site beginning June 13. The new "Public Stuff" system will replace the "E-Gov Link" system that has been in place since 2005.

The system is for residents and local governments to manage service requests. There were 6,915 requests submitted by residents and staff to "E-Gov Link" in 2015.

The old system was designed for desktop computers and not mobile devices. The new system will feature categories that residents can report issues including animals, forestry, general, parking, parks and recreation, permits and inspections, property maintenances, public safety and sewers.

A mobile application will be available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play on June 24. The village will pay about $3,800 to subscribe to the service.

At the regular board meeting, the trustees waived the bidding process and approved a contract with Burke Engineering for the of a relief storm sewer at the North Shore Channel. Turry provided the deciding vote on the issue, with Trustees Jesal Patel, Lawrence Elster and Jennifer Spino voting in favor of the resolution and Ronald Cope, Klatzko and Bass voting against it.

In July the board voted to waive competitive bidding on the engineering services and to authorize Burke Engineering to complete the design work for the project. Village manager Timothy Wiberg said at that meeting that Burke has completed a significant portion of the work to construct the berms and restrictors but that during the design process the company discovered that two components of the program required review.

The original pilot area was bounded by Pratt Avenue, McCormick Boulevard, Devon Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. Burke found that the area bounded by North Shore Avenue, Columbia Avenue, Kimball Avenue and McCormick Boulevard contained reverse-slope driveways that are in the lowest area of the village and that runoff that does not enter the village sewers usually flows to that area because it is blocked by McCormick from entering the North Shore Channel.

Burke recommended that the pilot area be bound by Pratt, an alley of Drake Avenue, Arthur Avenue and McCormick.

The firm also recommended that a storm relief sewer be installed from Trumbull Avenue along North Shore Avenue to the channel. Construction in the amended pilot area would cost $490,300, the design of the relief sewer would cost $116,400, and construction of the sewer would cost $1.5 million.

Extending the relief sewer to Lawndale Avenue would increase the price of construction to $4.5 million. The preliminary design plans will cost $32,600.

The trustees also waived the bidding process and approved a contract with Burke Engineering to provide services for the third phase of the Pratt Avenue resurfacing project. The village was awarded Surface Transportation Program funds that will cover 70 percent of engineering and construction costs for the resurfacing of Pratt from Lockwood Avenue to Crawford Avenue, with the village responsible for a 30 percent match. The amount of federal funding received for engineering and construction for the third phase of the project is $630,800, with village funding of $270,400.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved a resolution pledging $55,917 in local funds required to apply for a $279,585 grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program for the Centennial Park multi-use path. The 10-foot path would be located on the west side of the park and would run from Pratt Avenue to Devon Avenue.

The board also approved a $110,455 contract to Globe Construction for sidewalk and curb replacement services.

The village board also approved a resolution supporting the reclassification of Lawndale and Central Park avenues and Northeast Parkway as a major collector route. If the Northshore Council of Mayors, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration approve the reclassification, the village might be eligible for federal funding for resurfacing and other projects.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a wall sign variation for the south side of the medical building at 6540 N. Lincoln Ave. and denied a request for wall signs on the west side of the building.

The board approved a recommendation by the Plan Commission regarding sign regulations associated with collective parking agreements.

During a Plan Commission hearing on an addition to Malnati’s Restaurant, 6649 N. Lincoln Ave., it was noted that a parking lot at US Bank, 6677 N. Lincoln Ave., contains no signs directing customers to the restaurant. Parking for Malnati’s is available on weekends and weekday evenings in the bank parking lot which is across the street from the restaurant, but the village sign code does not allow a sign advertising that to be placed on the restaurant’s property.

The code amendment allows one on-premises sign and one off-premises sign that would be 7 feet in height and that would include the name and location of the business only and not have a business logo.

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