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Vernon Hills Store Threatens Libertyville's Tax Base

Economic Development Commission members discuss ways to keep grocery business in Libertyville.

Members of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) discussed a media blitz to help a local grocery store at a recent meeting.

Mariano's Fresh Market is scheduled to open in Vernon Hills in late June and its proximity to Jewel-Osco, at 1300 S. Milwaukee Ave., could hurt the village's tax base.

John Spoden, director of Community Development, said not only is that Jewel one of the village’s top 20 tax-producing entities, he believes it is also one of the best performing Jewel–Osco stores in the Chicago area. 

Steve Martin, an EDC member, says the Jewel-Osco store in Libertyville may lose up to 50 percent of business to the new grocery store.

Business at the Jewel grocery store in downtown Arlington Heights was hurt badly when Mariano's opened near there, according to John Cortesi, EDC chairman and owner of .

“It’s a slice of a pie and the pie is only so huge,” he said.

Village Boundaries, Tax Revenues

O’Donnell and EDC members believe that many Libertyville residents don’t realize the village extends farther south along the east side of Milwaukee Avenue than the west side, and that Vernon Hills' northern boundary begins at the southwest corner of Gregg’s Landing and Milwaukee Avenue.

It is a misconception that could cause the village a lot of tax revenue, but no one knows for sure how much because the state pays tax revenues in a lump sum. What's more, the list of top tax-producing businesses is also not given in order of revenue, according to Spoden.

Other Possible Side-Effects

Aside from lower tax revenues, village residents may suffer in less obvious ways, said EDC members during the meeting.

The Jewel-Osco store sponsors Little League teams and programs at schools. The store may not have the money to continue doing that if revenue drops too much.

O’Donnell is inquiring with Jewel-Osco corporate office to see if they can install gas pumps to draw more business. EDC member Bill Abington asked if Mayor Terry Weppler could be on a conference call with O’Donnell and the corporate office.

Shopping Local

Media blitz ideas include messages on water bills, information on the village’s website and having Libertyville High School sports teams, dressed in their jerseys, putting groceries in customer cars.

On the day that Mariano’s opens, Mayor Weppler is expected to split his time between the Jewel–Osco and Sunset Foods, thanking people for shopping at their local stores.

Members also discussed posting signs thanking people for shopping in Libertyville near the village limits.

“When people shop local, the money stays here,” Cortesi said. 

Correction: The previous article misquoted Terry O'Donnell as saying the Jewel-Osco store in Libertyville could lose businesses to Mariano's Fresh Market.

taxpayer May 05, 2011 at 04:31 PM
And don't forget that employers, in addition to the employee deductions, are required to pay the union, monthly some or all of the following :Welfare Fund, Pension Fund, Apprenticeship/training fund,management fee, another training fund, and promotion fund. In our construction business, we, the employer, pay roughly $30,000 per month (about 13 employees) for the required union contributions, and each employees monthly union deductions are $320.00 each. So, we the employer, contribute 87% of the union required fees! Think about that next time you go vote.
John May 05, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Just opened my property tax bill for 2011. What a surprise taxes went up. Values continue to drop and all our politicians and government employees do is raise the rate to keep the revenue stream going. No one cuts or sacrifices except the ones paying the bills, us! Its time to stop this insanity. If things don't change I will be forced to sell my Libertyville home. All because of the greed and excesses of our public officials, which are totally out of control. And soon businesses will also be forced to leave. You think Vernon Hills wouldn't love to steal our car dealers? It could happen. Wake up people.
dani May 11, 2011 at 07:17 PM
although it may come as a surprise to you that i would actually read this, i am extremely offended. i remember that day... i remember it very well actually. i just so happened to be talking to another girl that i work with explaining to HER that she needed to stop doing things like that. although i am aware it is something a customer shouldnt have to hear and i apologize for that. i have been working at jewel for 2 years and i have never had any complaints of that kind. i am 20 years old and i have to work at jewel to pay tuition and try to get my life started... people tend to also forget about the customers that come in on their phones, or get caught up in a conversation with the customer behind then... i once had a customer literally walk away from the register to go talk to someone... his order was already done, all he had to do was pay and there was a line of at least three people behind him. we had to try calling him back more than once. its a pretty difficult position to be in and it was definitely frustrating for other customers. All im saying is that unless you have worked at jewel, you have no idea what it is really like... and for those who are willing to say we have the worst employees, there are just as many people or more that have said that we are the greatest employees that they have ever seen. and i REALLY appreciate the customers that take the time to say something. if you have comments, tell the manager. good or bad. we cant read minds.
dani May 11, 2011 at 08:03 PM
and for the people expecting a better customer service environment at marianos, you may see many familiar faces. most of the employees that had gone away to school and came back to work at jewel are making a switch to marianos because we can't hire them back. we cant even hire anyone at the moment... marianos has even tried getting current jewel employees to make the switch as well. so if you are expecting new faces, you may be surprised.
G. D. May 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Kudos Dani. Many great employees there at Jewel. They are not the problem, however; some people just can't be catered to enough [Fred]. Those complaining about employees chit-chatting should try engaging the employees in conversation while they wait for their groceries. "It doesn't cost a dime to be nice" ~Norm Van Leer

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