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Council approves sidewalk alcohol sales, printing purchases

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Geoffrey Ritter
Carbondale Times

Diners at “sidewalk cafés” in Carbondale soon may be able to enjoy alcoholic drinks with their meals, too, following action taken at Tuesday’s meeting of the Carbondale City Council.

The council voted unanimously to revise city code to allow alcohol to be served at such cafés, which previously wasn’t allowed.

Mayor Mike Henry said the idea was given high priority during a recent council retreat. Other council members said the time for the change had come.

“I think it’s going to be a great start in the right direction,” Councilman Navreet Kang said.

At a short meeting that lasted just over 30 minutes, the council also authorized the city manager to continue purchasing goods and services from Henry Printing in Carbondale, which is owned by Mayor Henry.

Council members stressed that the city has done business with Henry Printing for several years, and that nothing would be changing with Tuesday’s vote.

“We’ve been buying this stuff for years,” Councilman Adam Loos said. “This allows us to keep doing what we’ve been doing for years.”

Interim City Manager Gary Williams said the city purchases business cards and other items from Henry Printing, and that established document templates already used by the city make it convenient to continue the relationship. 

The measure passed unanimously, with Henry himself abstaining from the vote.

The council also passed a resolution in support of the proposed Illinois Financial Transaction Tax Act, also known as the “LaSalle Street Tax,” which would levy a small tax of $1 to $2 on trades on Chicago’s financial markets. 

Experts have estimated that such a surcharge, while miniscule in comparison with the amounts of the trades themselves, could generate $10 billion or more each year for the state.

Carbondale attorney Rich Whitney said that in the face of the state’s current budget gridlock, as well as overwhelming pension obligations that aren’t going away, the proposed tax just makes sense.

“It’s an issue of fundamental fairness as well as common sense,” Whitney said. Audience applause followed the council’s vote.

The council concluded its public meeting by going into closed session to discuss city employment matters, minutes from past closed sessions and a possible real estate transaction. 

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