Zero available liquor licenses in Oglesby? Council is thinking it over

Set up gives council more control in granting next liquor licenses

Oglesby City Hall

Oglesby has 20 liquor licenses in use. The City Council is thinking of not creating any more.

Monday, the Oglesby City Council tossed around the idea of not adding any new liquor licenses. The goal isn’t necessarily to turn away new taverns or to limit liquor service, but rather to give the city greater control when the next licensing request comes along.

Commissioner Jason Curran said he borrowed the idea from Granville, which purposely keeps the number of available licenses at zero. This forces a petitioner to come to the council and lay out its plans before the council agrees to create a license.

“I’ll be honest,” Curran said, “I kind of like that idea.”

“I agree,” said Commissioner Tom Argubright.

The council tabled the issue until city attorney Patrick Barry is available to give additional guidance. Mayor Dom Rivara said he wants a careful review before taking formal action.

“I think maybe we should give some thought and research so when we do it, we do it right,” Rivara said.

Separately, the proposed parking lot at the former Reizner building is on hold until spring.

The council voted 5-0 to reject two bids after both came in more than $25,000 above the estimate. The council will revisit the project in spring 2023.

The council did, however, place on file a bid from Homer Tree Service, Inc. of Lockport for tree removal at the wastewater treatment plant. Though the bid (about $135,000) came in nearly 25% more than the estimate, Curran said there is a risk in not acting now.

“My goal is to get everything shovel-ready so we can be ready for a grant opportunity that’s out there,” Curran explained, “and my concern is by waiting six, seven, eight months (to save) $25,000 that eight months could put us in jeopardy of losing a much bigger grant opportunity.”

In other matters, the council:

  • Placed on file bids for various electric work including a traffic control box near Illinois Valley Community College
  • Approved a request by We Are Oglesby to use city utility poles for scarecrow displays from Oct. 1- Nov. 5 along Walnut Street
  • Referred a request by Nathan and John Senica to the Planning Commission. The petitioners acquired property adjacent to their building on East Walnut Street for assorted improvements