BY CAROL HICKS
HOOPESTON — City council members on Tuesday discussed the hours alcohol can be served following a request last month from Doug Wagoner from Fast Lanes Bowling Alley.
Wagoner requested uniform hours to accommodate gaming hours, especially for special events bars, clubs and the bowling alley have during the year. At present, the hours to serve alcohol are 6 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and Sunday until 10 p.m. with gaming tied to those hours. The state shuts the gaming machines off when alcohol is can't be sold. This causes a loss of revenue for the businesses, the owners say.
"If hours are uniform across the board, there would be no need to call Springfield to change time for one day," Wagoner said.
He added he polled several bar owners who didn't want to stay open past midnight Monday-Thursday or Sunday pass 10 p.m., but did want the gaming machines still operational for the events that run past those times. The exception would be if New Year's Eve fell during the week as it will this year. Everyone wanted the gaming hours to remain until 1 a.m. on that day rather than end at midnight.
Council members draw consider a proposal at their next meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 in City Hall.
In other business, council members:
+ Heard an update from Mike Streff, Foth Infrastructue & Environment, that the EPA would start the loan disbursement in about four more weeks. He added that Leander Construction was drawing up the foundation design for approval and planned to move equipment in Oct. 21.
+ Learned that Hoopeston Vet Care, 901 W. Main St.closed its doors Friday. Another party is interested in the building, but not a veterinarian. The city will have to revert back to county resources for stray animals.
+ Heard Mayor Bill Crusinberry give an update on the FMC lot. Once an asbestos abatement on the remaining building is complete, the building will be torn down. The EPA will do borings at the joints, testing for hazardous contaminants, Crusinberry said. They did not want to remove the concrete if not necessary. He added the EPA planned to clean the concrete in the spring, clean the sewer system, the retention area and wrap up the project by next summer.