Friday, January 12, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Bellwood village officials, community leaders and Thorntons representatives cut the ribbon on the new gas station during a Jan. 12 ceremony. | Michael Romain
Hildred Taylor, a People Cab driver who lives in Chicago, was among the first customers in line since the new Thorntons gas station, 1125 S. 25th Ave., in Bellwood, opened for business on Jan. 11.
“It looks really nice and I think it will be a tremendous boon to the community,” said Taylor, whose first visit to the new 24-hour gas station and convenience mart was during an official ribbon-cutting held on Jan. 12, the day after it opened for business.
NEW IN TOWN: Patrons line up in the newly opened Thornton’s gas station in Bellwood. | Michael Romain
Numerous local, county and state officials were on hand during the brief ceremony, including state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th).
“This is a great piece to revitalizing Bellwood and the transformation is clearly on the way,” Welch said.
The state representative added that measures taken by the state, including the reduction of the corporate income tax, and the passage of laws allowing tax increment financing districts and other incentives were critical to developments like Thornton’s choosing to locate in Bellwood.
‘A GAME CHANGER’: Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey during the Jan. 12 opening of the Thorntons gas station in Bellwood. | Michael Romain
He placed particular emphasis on one particularly controversial piece of legislation made at the county level — the penny per ounce tax on sugary beverages that was passed by the county board in November 2016. After a collective outcry from consumers and business owners, the county board voted 15-1 to repeal the tax. The rollback went into effect in December.
“I sponsored legislation [that said] if the county wasn’t going to repeal the sugar tax, the state was going to repeal the sugar tax,” Welch said to applause.
“This right here to us will hopefully be a game changer,” Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey said. “We’re so happy that Thorntons picked this site, the site of Wilson School, a great school, but that was vacant for 10 years.
“We thank Thorntons for having the vision to come into our community to open a unique facility that all the residents in Bellwood can frequent.” VFP
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