HOOPESTON — Increasing liquor licenses and gaming hours were on the agenda Wednesday for the Hoopeston Civic Improvement Committee during a public meeting. Five of the 12 license-holders attended.
Mike Morris, owner of Ted's Home Beverage, asked, "Why do we need any more licenses?"
The original discussion of licenses was brought to the city council several months ago when Sunny Singh requested upgrading his liquor license from beer and wine to include the sale of packaged liquor at the remodeled Marathon store (formerly Convenient) on Illinois Route 9 (West Orange Street).
Another member of the Singh family, Sonny, added Tuesday, "We want to increase revenue, add additional traffic and increase the city's revenue." He added that as far as competition with the other licensees, he just wants the revenue from traffic on Route 9 to increase.
"Lots of people want a one-shop stop on Route 9," he said.
Local resident Karon Gibson agreed,"Why not give them a license to give them a chance?"
The subject of an increase in liquor licenses has been discussed at previous committee meetings, including changing the number in each category, and adding a BB category. However, when the ordinance regarding categories was brought before the council, a motion was not made and it was sent back to committee for further discussion to include the gaming issue.
Doug Wagoner brought the gaming issue to the attention of the council in a letter requesting that the hours be changed, especially during bowling tournaments on Sunday in November, December and January, on league nights and on New Year's Eve.
Mayor Bill Crusinberry said the city has no control of the gaming issue. It was tied to the hours in which alcohol was served.
"The only way to change the gaming hours," said Alderman Larry Baughn, " is to change the hours alcohol can be served."
Baughn added he did talk to state gaming commission officials and was told if a change of hours was needed for a special event, such as New Year's Eve, it could be done if the state were given ample notice.
At present there are five Class A licenses, one which is available; two Class AA licenses, three Class AAA licenses, and two Class B licenses.
Baughn will bring the previous ordinance to the council meeting for discussion with the full board at 7 p.m. Oct. 1.