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Puschcart debate raises broader concerns

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:50 a.m. CDT

Some saw the ordinance change as more than just moving Pam Uslander, the Hot Dog Lady, across the street.

During public comment at Monday's meeting, Elmhurst resident Mike Baker, suggested the city's approval of a City Centre-sponsored Rock the Block Party that would close part of York and Schiller Streets in September didn't show concern for possible construction in the downtown.

"It made me wonder if it's not so much what the permit is applied for in Elmhurst, but who is actually requesting it," Baker said.

In addition to approving a report to allow the block party, the council also voted in favor of a report granting a $250,000 sales tax incentive for iMotorSports, Inc., an upscale used motorcycle store that opened in Elmhurst last month after spending more that the total incentive in renovations to its 334 W. Grand Ave. location.

First Ward Alderman Diane Gutenkauf drew a comparison between the businesses the city supports with sales tax incentives and the Hot Dog Lady, who wouldn't qualify for many of the city's business incentives like a grant for facade improvements.

"We, the City Council, make a big show talking about how friendly Elmhurst is for business. ... It's clear to me that we're only friendly to businesses we love or that we have some personal relationship with," Gutenkfauf said.

– Mari Grigaliunas

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