Chicago Heights city council approved the addition of another liquor license during their Feb. 4 meeting. The new license, awarded to the Mobil gas station at 431 W 14th Street, is the 16th of its kind according to the Northwest Indiana Times. The decision, however, was not unanimous.
Mayor David Gonzalez says his administration has generally worked to reduce the number of available liquor licenses in town, but this case is an exception. According to him, Husain contributes roughly $400,000 in annual sales and property taxes, according to the NWI Times report. Husain has already invested $3 million in developing the property, according to Heights Corporation Counsel T.J. Somer in the NWI Times report.
Alderman Josh Daebel was the only council member to vote against the license (Ald. Wanda Rodgers was absent). He criticized the gas station owner Mike Husain for littering and previous failure to comply with city codes. He’s also concerned the increased availability of alcohol might attract riff-raff.
"Adding a liquor establishment to this location would not be conducive at all to the safety, the security and the soundness of that neighborhood," Deabel said in a Northwest Indiana Times report.
Ald. Sonia Perez noted Deabel's concerns but said she knew the man's business was losing money and understood why he needed the liquor license to reach profitability.