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Sycamore City Council appoints new alderwoman, discusses liquor code changes

Nancy Copple is sworn in as the Sycamore City Council's newest alderwoman during Tuesday's meeting. She replaces Becky Springer, who resigned after moving outside of her ward.
Nancy Copple is sworn in as the Sycamore City Council's newest alderwoman during Tuesday's meeting. She replaces Becky Springer, who resigned after moving outside of her ward.

SYCAMORE – Nancy Copple, who has worked at Sycamore School District 427 for 17 years, was appointed to the 3rd Ward alderwoman seat left by Becky Springer during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

After Copple's appointment, the council discussed several changes to the city’s liquor code that would allow Sycamore State Theatre to serve alcohol and for video gambling cafes to have their own specialized license.

Under the terms of the theater license, regular concessions and alcohol must be sold separately, a wristband must be must be worn by customers consuming alcohol, and all alcohol must be served in a container of a different color, size or material and design than nonalcoholic beverage containers.

Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang said the city needs to look at other revenue streams in order for the theater to stay competitive.

Changes to the city’s Class B licensing option for bars will ensure these licenses are for establishments whose primary purpose is the consumption of alcohol. Businesses whose primary function is video gambling would apply for a newly created Class VG license.

This will free up four of Sycamore’s 12 Class B liquor licenses that are used by Class VG-eligible businesses.

Lance Klinger, owner of Ski’s All American Pub, said he has never seen or heard anything negative from people with free-standing video gambling facilities, and this is an opportunity to have more good business in the community.

Concerns were raised regarding the $1,500 annual license fee for theaters and the option for bars to either be locations that generate at least 51 percent of their gross annual receipts from food and beverage sales or dedicate no more than 25 percent of floor space to video gambling.

Lang said the City Council likely will vote on an ordinance amending the liquor code during its Sept. 19 meeting.

• Note to readers: This story has been changed to make clear that Copple is still employed at District 427. 

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