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Local

Sycamore OKs business liquor license, considers funding

VAC Executive Director Ellen Rogers accepts two annual grants totaling $37,000 from the Sycamore City Council on Monday at Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.
VAC Executive Director Ellen Rogers accepts two annual grants totaling $37,000 from the Sycamore City Council on Monday at Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.

SYCAMORE – Monday night saw several accommodations for local business and nonprofits by the Sycamore City Council.

On the business side, the council approved a Class B liquor license for
Ristorante di Acquaviva and a consideration for $10,000 in funding for masonry work at PJ’s Courthouse Tavern. On the nonprofit side, the city approved two grants totalling $47,000 for the Voluntary Action Center and a $16,000 grant for the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation.

“It’s pretty awesome to just see how the city’s engaged with the surrounding area and surrounding businesses,” Mayor Curt Lang said at the meeting. “It’s a great place to live.”

Business engagement

The addition of a 12th Class B liquor license, which was brought up at the City Council meeting May 9, ensured Ristorante di Acquaviva owner Vito Brandonisio would keep his restaurant in Sycamore. He was at the meeting Monday but did not comment on the approval.

Brandonisio had stated at the May 9 meeting that he needed the council’s help to keep running his business in the city.

The council approved a consideration to fund $10,000 of a $42,911 project to rebuild the parapet along the roof of PJ’s Courthouse Tavern. Funding for the tavern will come from the Downtown Facade Improvement Grant.

“We are seeing a lot more permanent improvement-type applications for our facade program,” City Manager Brian Gregory said at the meeting. “These types of projects are welcome.”

The roof of the tavern, along with the parapet, is in disrepair, said Paul Schwartz, PJ’s Courthouse Tavern owner, who did not attend the council meeting. The brick parapet will be rebuilt to resemble the original 1870s masonry work, Schwartz said.

Construction for the project will begin in the fall and finish before Pumpkin Fest, Gregory said at the meeting.

Nonprofit funding

The Voluntary Action Center accepted two grants from the city, one for $17,000 and the other for $20,000 – both annual grants from the hotel/motel tax and sales tax funds respectively. Fourth Ward Alderman Virginia Sherrod thanked VAC Executive Director Ellen Rogers for the care VAC workers put into transporting disabled riders throughout the county.

Rogers said her daughter, who is an adult with a disability, has used the VAC bus system for 17 years.

“They pull up in front of our house, and she goes out and they watch her,” Rogers said. “They’re so accommodating.”

The DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation was given an annual grant of $16,000 by the city. The grant has been used for more than 20 years to assist with organizational expenses, according to meeting’s agenda.

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