No liquor store for Oglesby, after commissioner says he bought drug paraphernalia from related business

Petitioner’s lawyer said pipe was used for smoking recreational marijuana

Oglesby City Council turned down a liquor store once planned for the 200 block of North Columbia Avenue. Why? A commissioner said he bought what he believes was a “crack pipe” from a related business.

Oglesby Commissioner Jason Curran said he wanted no part of a business that sells drug paraphernalia and moved to turn down a petition by the operators of the 351 Mini-Mart in La Salle, where he bought the glass pipe. The operators hoped to open a full-service liquor store across from the Root Beer Stand.

“I’m not trying to make a spectacle,” Curran said, after holding the glass pipe aloft, “but if that’s what they’re going to sell then, I don’t see any benefit to the city.”

The petitioner’s lawyer, La Salle attorney Cote Klinefelter, said the pipe was a “novelty item” used for the legal smoking of recreational cannabis. Klinefelter said his client, J.M. Patel was willing to drop it from the inventory to be offered in Oglesby.

But that wasn’t enough for Curran or the remaining members of the council (Commissioner Tom Argubright was absent) who voted unanimously to deny the petition.

Actually, the council initially stood silent on the petition, until Oglesby’s lawyer advised a recommendation was needed, yes or no, to address the Patel petition. That prompted Curran to make a motion to deny.

“If I’m voting then I’m not voting ‘No,’” he said, “I’m voting ‘Hell no.’”

Patel declined comment after the vote.

In other matters, the council:

  • Trick or Treat hours will be 5-7:30 p.m. on Halloween
  • Awarded a bid for tree removal at the wastewater treatment plant to Homer Tree Service, Inc. of Lockport for about $135,000
  • Approved a request by Oglesby schools to close a portion of Bennett Avenue for the Halloween parade
  • Received a clean audit from Hopkins & Associates, which reported the city is in a much stronger cash position than in years past
  • The council agreed to pay $8,500 to address flooding problems at Heritage and Oakwood avenues