Flapjack Financing Fails

One alderman calls decision bad precedent

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Free pancakes at IHOP on Tuesday, Feb. 23

    The Country Club Hills City Council is catching hotcake hell over its buttermilk bailout.

    Last week south suburban leaders voted 6 to 2 to lend Chatham Pancake House money to pay its $7,200 past-due electric bill, the Southtown Star reported.

    Mayor Dwight Welch received a phone call from Leslie Noel, the owner of the restaurant located at 18348 S. Pulaski Road, pleading for financial help.

    The pancake house must pay part of the loan back every month with interest. Until the balance reaches zero, Country Club Hills holds a lien on the restaurant's equipment.

    But the hotcake help got some residents flipping mad.

    "What about bailing out the local man?" Denise Duplessis asked city council members this week.

    "It isn't our job to pay his utility bills," said Ralph Tolbert. "It's not a good business decision."

    Alderman Steven Burris, whose 4th ward includes the restaurant, criticized his colleagues who backed the bill calling it bad precedent for business owners to believe the city's coffers are a bank.

    Welch stated in the past he's going to do his best to keep businesses open in the suburb since it's a struggle to get them there.

    Country Club Hills could serve itself up some trouble if other businesses start showing up with their hats in hand.