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'Wet' village benefits from revenue

If the village receives its budgeted $200,000 in liquor taxes this year, liquor sales will make up just over half a percent of Oak Park's pool of revenue, said Greg Peters, village finance director.

The liquor tax is currently 3 percent after a 1 percent increase was approved two years ago.

Peters cautioned, however, that the funds don't just go toward padding the village's coffers. It is also necessary to help pay for enforcement.

"Liquor is always an issue. You have to control it with enforcement. There is a cost associated with it, as well as a social cost," he said.

The following is a record of liquor taxes received by the village:
1997: $144,368
1998: $155,388
1999: $113,287
2000: $116,172
2001: $129,088
2002: $144,652
2003: $217,325
(after liquor tax was raised from 2 to 3 percent)
2004 (through July)

In addition to liquor taxes, the village also receives funding for liquor licenses:
1997: $66,016
1998: $56,755
1999: $82,910
2000: $56,944
2001: $70,251
2002: $79,847
2003: $83,981
2004: $53,564
(through July)

• These numbers do not include the amount of sales tax the village receives from liquor sales or taxes on food served by the restaurants.


Pre-Mother's Day catastrophe: restaurant to the rescue
Wednesday, May 5 was a sunny, warm dayâ€"a good day for a stroll. Patrons at George's Restaurant on the 100 block of South Oak Park Avenue were having lunch when owner George Konstantos noticed seven baby ducklings in his doorway.

George and his staff were startled to say the least, but when the ducklings headed for busy Oak Park Avenue they stopped watching and took action. Connie Johncock, Sara Johnson, Rene Huerta and George created quite a sight as they chased the babies back and forth for several minutes, stopping traffic, showing little concern for life or limb. Oak Park Avenue isn't a fit place for man nor beastâ€"or mother ducks. Unfortunately, the mother had been hit by a car, it was later discovered. The police say the duck was dead when they inadvertantly rolled on top of it. George and his staff most likely saved the babies from a similar fate.

They were able to catch them all inside a box. Keeping ducklings warm and dry is the important thing. A small amount of water was provided until the Oak Park Animal Care Unit arrived, at which point the babies were transported to Trailside Museum in River Forest.

Hats off to the staff at George's Restaurant, who made way for ducklings.

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