Council to consider motion lowering cost of liquor licenses for Urbana restaurants

By Eric Heisig

The Urbana City Council’s meeting on Monday night could lead to restaurant owners paying less for liquor licenses.

The Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would lower the cost of liquor licenses by creating a new category for restaurants. The license cost stands at $4,462, but if the ordinance passes, the new category’s license will be lowered to $3,962.

The ordinance would continue a plan to lower liquor license costs for 10 restaurants in Urbana that fit the criteria.

“We are having it be phased in over two years,” said Mayor Laurel Prussing. “That will be $5,000 this year and $5,000 next year.”

Prussing said that while this ordinance would take away needed revenue from the city’s budget, the measure is directed to be fairer to restaurant owners who will benefit from the lower cost.

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In addition, the ordinance states that five percent of the revenue from these liquor licenses will be allocated to the city’s Public Arts Fund.

The Committee of the Whole passed the motion last week, submitting it to the Council for final approval.

The Urbana City Council meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.