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Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle

The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village.

Greg Jones, the village attorney, is working on putting together an ordinance to restrict the spread of additional tobacco stores in a certain part of the village.

However, several trustees wondered if maybe it was time that some limits be put in place. Some of the trustees are concerned that children have easier access to obtain cigarettes.

“We can limit liquor stores but right now, these tobacco stores can just pop up anywhere,” said Trustee Rich Dziedzic.

“There is a saturation point,” said Trustee Brad Urban. “We are hearing from residents who ask why do we have so many tobacco shops?”

Mayor Mary Werner pointed out that she has discouraged some new business owners from opening a tobacco store due to the fact that there is so much competition.

“I think we need to be very careful limiting (tobacco stores),” said Werner. “We just don’t want to have empty storefronts, either.”

“My perspective on this is that children can walk into one store and be turned down,” said Trustee Kevin Ryan. “But they can go to the next one or the next one after that. They have many places to go and they will get it.”

Trustee Laura Packwood said that the proliferation of tobacco stores is a concern. Numerous stores are selling tobacco up and down 111th Street, Packwood said.

“We have so many families moving in and we have updated our parks,” Packwood said. “But now there are so many tobacco stores. We don’t want to promote smoking for children.”

Jones said he will work on an ordinance with the assistance of the board. Werner said the board will review a map where some limits could be established for businesses that sell tobacco.

A special-use permit was also approved for the Public Security Agency, 7000 W. 111th St., Suite 215. Bogdan Stanek is the owner.

A business license was also approved for the Daily Fresh Market, 6925 W. 111th St., Unit 106. Urban asked owner Nader Hinnawi how he will get rid of bad produce? The store will be selling fresh fruit and vegetables.

“We’re just concerned that bad produce would be thrown out,” Urban said. “That could be a problem with rats and other pests.”

Hinnawi said the store will be checked every day in regards to all fruit and other food that goes bad.

“What we don’t use we will bring back to the market,” Hinnawi said.

The co-chairs of the Fr. Perez Council 1444 requested permission to solicit funds for the annual Knights of Columbus Intellectual Disabilities Drive on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

Better known as the Tootsie Roll Drive, the council has collected at the corner of 111th and Harlem for many years and wanted to return in 2022. The board approved the request.

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