CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The City Council approved an ordinance on Monday that created a 16th packaged goods license in the city so that liquor can be sold out of the convenience store of the Mobil gas station at 431 W. 14th St.
A Dunkin' Donuts shop and the Dragon Inn carryout restaurant are attached to the convenience store.
Corporation Counsel T.J. Somer said building owner Mike Husain has invested more than $3 million into the development of the site and that issuing the liquor license "helps keep him in business."
Mayor David Gonzalez said his administration has worked to reduce the number of liquor licenses available in the city but that applicants would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Gonzalez said Husain pays about $400,000 a year in sales and real estate taxes on his property.
The City Council voted 5-1 to create the new license. Third Ward Alderman Wanda Rodgers was not present.
Fourth Ward Alderman Joshua Deabel voted against creating the license. He said the business resides in his ward and that residents there do not want to see liquor sold.
"Adding a liquor establishment to this location would not be conducive at all to the safety, the security and the soundness of that neighborhood," Deabel said.
In other city news, a public hearing took place Monday to present and discuss the city's proposed plan of electrical aggregation for residential and small commercial customers.
Voters approved a referendum in November that allowed the city to negotiate lower electric rates on their behalf.
"The idea being when you take an entire village or city's load out to bid hopefully you can procure lower rates than could be achieved one by one, individually," said Sharon Durling, director of marketing for the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative.
A second public hearing is expected March 4, prior to the meeting that night at which the City Council will likely vote to seek competitive bids for electricity.