Video gaming, property transactions on Homewood board agenda Tuesday

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Video gaming, property transactions on Homewood board agenda Tuesday

June 22, 2020 - 09:11
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At their meeting Tuesday, Homewood trustees will consider two property transactions that will affect downtown development, and action that will reverse years of gaming policy.

Trustees will consider a change to municipal code to allow video gaming machines in bars and restaurants that have operated in the village for at least four years.

If approved, that measure would open up the gaming market in the village, a change that village officials have resisted for years.

Six establishments in Homewood have licenses that allow them to install video gaming machines because they were in business when the 2009 state law allowed gaming machines in bars and restaurants.

Since then, Homewood Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Richard Hofeld has declined to consider any new licenses that would allow gaming machines.

Hofeld has said his concern was that the proliferation of gaming machines would negatively affect the village's image, possibly making it appear cheap and trashy.

He hasn't changed his mind about that, but he said on Saturday that the change in policy is a matter of doing something to help local businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the board approved a three-month suspension of the 2 percent places of eating tax, another effort to help local restaurants survive the pandemic.

The board will consider accepting the donation of the building at 2020 Ridge Road, currently ATA Karate for Kids, from owner Patricia Barnum. If the donation is accepted, the village plans to use the building to extend the space of the Homewood Science Center, which is located around the corner at 18022 Dixie Highway.

The sale of a village-owned building at 18155 Dixie Highway, formerly Delanoe's Pizza, will also enable a new downtown business, if approved. The village plans to sell the building to Full Moon Development of Hickory Hill.

The company plans to open a Pita Mediterranean Street Food restaurant.

Also on the agenda is a measure to revise municipal code to clarify responsibilities for maintaining sanitary sewer lines. The measure would update section 110, paragraph 69 of the code.

That provision was called into question in January when several homes on Ashland Avenue experienced sewer problems

The meeting will be conducted remotely via video conferencing, as allowed by
Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Executive Order 2020-07. The public is invited to monitor the meeting by dialing 312-626-6799. The meeting ID number is 961 6038 1330 and the password is 292 310. 

Anyone with questions or comments on subjects related to village business can email [email protected] or place written comments in the drop box outside village hall at 2020 Chestnut Road. Comments received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday will be read into the record of the meeting.