Zion-Benton News

Buena Vista restaurant
given an extension

By Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff

Beach Park village trustees discussed the certificate of occupancy for the Buena Vista Restaurant on Wadsworth Road. It was set to expire last week.

When owner Jose Giles opened the restaurant, he was given a temporary certificate to expedite the opening. It came with a list of requirements that were to be completed within the year. Those requirements have not been met.

However, the temporary permit also required him to pave the new parking lot and stripe it for parking. An enclosure for garbage was to be constructed on the paved portion to keep the garbage out of view. Landscaping and lighting also remain undone.

Currently the business must limit itself to 100 customers and 15 employees. When using the banquet rooms for special events Giles obtains a permit that allows parking on the gravel lot. He has a capacity for 325 customers which requires more than 100 parking spaces.

Village administrator Jon Kindseth told the board staff needed direction from the board as how to handle the situation. Trustee Mark Ottersen suggested not allowing any special event permits.

“He has explained he doesn’t have the funds,” Mayor John Hucker said. “We don’t want to close him down, but a year has passed. Special events are a big part of his income.” Giles has two scheduled for each of the next three months.

Kindseth said the paving is expected to cost $20,000 and the asphalt plants will be closing before the work could be done. The plants will reopen in April, he said.

“He’s done his part in the community,” Ottersen said. “I don’t have a problem with extending it to June 1, since everything else is OK.”

Trustee Larry Wells and the mayor also suggested an extension.

“I won’t be in favor of extending it again,” Mayor Hucker warned. “This village did everything it could to make them (the owners) aware of deadlines. They need to be taken seriously.”

Trustee Don Jensen said he was disappointed the board was getting this information at the 11th hour.

Giles agreed he could complete the work by the June 1 deadline, and the board unanimously approved the motion.

Beach Park passed its audit with flying colors once again. The village was given the Certificate of Achievement with Excellence, which is the highest level of reporting for an audit. The opinion was unmodified with highest marks and free of errors.

Mayor Hucker gave credit to ‘ Peggy McHugh for her skills to create the document and to staff for their frugality and staying within budget.’

The board approved the purchase of a 2015 Jeep Explorer, which is to be used for code enforcement and related activities. It was purchased through the state of Illinois purchasing program for $26,409.

Street Maintenance
The board awarded a contract to Payne and Dolan for the street maintenance to be done with money from the motor fuel tax. They were the lower of two bids that were received. However, Ottersen said the costs have increased by 35 percent for materials.
Part of this is due to fewer qualified contractors since some went out of business during the recession and because the Community Development Block Grant were delayed until Oct. 1 rather than in May when the funds are typically released, he said.

Ottersen said the village engineers reduced their fee ‘by quite a bit’ to help the situation. “The work does need to be done and we recommend going ahead with it,” he said. The motion was approved.

Tom Bleck was recognized for his contributions to the village. The former Plan Commissioner was recognized for his 14 years of service as a commissioner and a chairman of the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.