Joliet approves tobacco license
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2012 10:10PM
Joliet Mayor Thomas Giarrante
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:48AM
JOLIET — The city’s new tobacco license was approved Tuesday with hardly any opposition.
Tobacco retailers will have to be licensed once the law is implemented, giving Joliet the power to stop or suspend sales when it finds stores that sell cigarettes to minors.
No one showed up at the Tuesday council meeting to oppose the license law. But City Manager Thomas Thanas did share a correspondence from a bar owner who objected to having to get both a liquor and tobacco license.
“This ordinance is consistent with what most municipalities do,” Thanas said. “Not a lot of opposition, but we have had some vendors say they just don’t want another license to deal with.”
A city survey showed only a few towns, including Joliet, had no license for tobacco retailers. When Joliet police have found stores that sold cigarettes to minors, they ticketed the sales clerks but there was no punishment for store owners or managers.
“This gives us a little bit of a hammer to use for those people we catch selling tobacco to minors,” Mayor Thomas Giarrante said.
Thanas said the city will work on streamlining its procedures with the aim of avoiding multiple licenses for single businesses.
In other business, the council:
Changed its liquor ordinance to allow video gambling in taverns once it is permitted by the state;
Heard plans to renovate the council chambers at city hall at a price tag of $433,000 with revenue coming from a cable television fee and a lease with the federal government, which uses the space for bankruptcy court;
Approved a contract with First Midwest Bank in which the bank would begin handling payments on city water bills through its “lock box” facility in Joliet.