Friday, March 18, 2016 || By Michael Romain
At a March 15 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees approved a Class M Liquor License for Lacey’s Place, a proposed video gambling bistro seeking to locate at 611 W. Roosevelt Rd. It would be the first gambling bistro to open in the village.
Village attorney Michael Jurusik said, as a condition of being granted the license, the business has to post no loitering signs outside of the property and enforce the village’s no-loitering regulations on the property. The owners are also required to either an install audio/visual surveillance system, or employ a security guard, on the premises.
But those conditions aren’t enough to calm the concerns of some trustees and residents, who fear that the business will attract unwelcome attention and that the board should consider higher quality development proposals
“We should work a little harder getting economic development back in the community that will service at least 65 percent of the people,” said Trustee Antoinette Dorris, who along with Trustees Ron Rivers and Melvin Lightford, voted against granting Lacey’s the liquor license.
Trustees Isiah Brandon and Michael Rogers, who are two of the proposal’s most outspoken supporters on the board, tried reassuring residents that a video gambling bistro is not the threat they may envision.
“I’ve seen it work in other communities,” said Brandon, who lauded what he believes will be the potential tax and fee revenue the business will bring to the village. At a Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting last month, Jeffery Rehberger, one of the Lacey’s co-owners, estimated that the potential tax revenue could be upwards of $30,000 to $40,000.
At the March 15 meeting, Maywood Village Clerk Viola Mims said that her office has received multiple applications from other video gambling establishments looking to setup shop in Maywood.
“I need some clarity, because if we’re not going to want these establishments, why are we accepting their applications?” Mims asked.
An additional ordinance that would set a maximum number on how many video gambling establishments can locate in the village, and where they can locate, is still under review.
Village staff and Trustee Michael Rogers recommended that the number be capped at three. The draft ordinance also prohibits the establishments from locating within a certain distance from entities such as schools and churches that are frequented by young, elderly and other vulnerable residents.
Trustee Rogers said that the approval of that draft ordinance is a separate issue from granting a license to Lacey’s. VFP