Homewood trustees voted to approve $142,043 in tax incentive money Tuesday night to help fund a banquet room addition to .
The request was made by owner Joe Aurelio through the village’s Go Green and Façade and Property Improvement Program. He says Aurelio’s restaurant currently has to consistently turn down parties of up to 70 people multiple times per week due to lack of space. This banquet room will help remedy that problem, he says. In total, Aurelio plans on investing $575,000 to transform the restaurant's south side outdoor dining patio into a banquet room.
In addition to more space, Aurelio says this addition is going to benefit the community in a variety of ways.
“The construction will create new jobs for a dozen area businesses and over 75 hard-working tradesmen. The addition of the banquet room will also create more hours for the 140 employees we currently employee, and also, it will probably create a few new jobs,” Aurelio said. “Lastly, I think the banquet room will create some new sales tax dollars for Homewood.”
Trustee Tom Kataras had no problem voting “yes” on the request.
“Quite truthfully, Mr. Aurelio probably funded most of that surplus anyway,” Kataras said.
Trustee Jay Heiferman echoed Kataras’ enthusiasm.
“I just think, in general, besides our own lovely charm of downtown Homewood, I think nothing has put us on the map in a better way than Aurelio’s,” Heiferman said.
Not all trustees were so quick to decide, however. Trustee Anne Colton said she had some initial concerns, but further reflection helped influence her “yes” vote.
“It is a pile of money. And that gave me a little bit of pause, but, again, a lot of the money we got is because of what you guys are doing,” Colton said. “You’re creating jobs, you’re going to be creating more revenue for the village and for all the taxing bodies.”
The request passed unanimously.