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Plainfield raises fee for tobacco sales

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Smokers are not the only ones who have to dig deeper into their pocketbooks for the high cost of cigarettes.

Changes to an ordinance approved Monday by the Plainfield Village Board will mean that the annual fee for a tobacco license has been increased from $100 to $250. Other amendments include additional applicant terms and conditions and restrictions on the sale of certain tobacco accessories, such as cigarette papers, pipes, holders of smoking materials and cigarette rolling machines.

The revised ordinance also makes it unlawful for any person to offer, sell, barter, exchange, deliver or give away a hookah to another person.

While the board unanimously approved changes to the tobacco ordinance, the trustees did remove an item from the agenda that addresses amendments to the liquor license statute. Removal means the board was not ready to vote on the issue Monday night and will address it at a later date.

When the board does vote on the liquor license ordinance, the trustees will likely be asked to continue the current practice of not allowing patrons to have video gambling machines for amusement in village bars.

When the board during the July 9 committee of the whole workshop reviewed amendments to the liquor license ordinance, the proposal to allow video gambling inside Plainfield establishments was shot down by the trustees, as many saw the amusement as doing more harm than good for the community.

Beginning next month, Village President Michael Collins said the state gaming board will allow video gambling. If the village board does nothing by then, Collins said the change coming from the state will automatically go through the liquor ordinance.

Collins said video gambling machines are not a big revenue generator for municipalities. Typically, 70 percent of proceeds are split between the bar owner and operator of the video gaming machine. The village receives about 17 percent of the revenues and the remainder goes to the state.

Police Chief John Konopek said some of the other modifications to the ordinance address such items as allowing craft beer sales to start only after noon on days of special events and stopping at 11 p.m. if sold Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. if sold Sunday through Thursday; outdoor liquor sales not allowed prior to the start of alcohol served inside the establishment; and reducing what constitutes as a shot from three ounces to 1.5 ounces, which is more consistent with other communities.

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