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Northfield: Massage Parlors Must Have Licenses

The village will now keep tabs on such businesses to help crackdown on criminal activities. McDonald's is also looking for another space in Northfield.

In light of recent speculation that a massage parlor might be moving to Northfield, the Village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that forces all “massage establishments” to register a business license with the municipality.

Before it adopted home rule, the village did not have this authority, but now all massage establishments will have to obtain an annual business license and provide copies of their valid state licenses from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations. Additionally, all massage therapists and employees will be subject to criminal background checks.

The recent interest in massage parlors comes four months after the Northfield Police Department a massage establishment at 1780 Maple St. for violating a decency ordinance. Undercover officers found clients getting massages in the nude.

Village Manager Stacy Sigman said the officials have received word that a new massage parlor may be coming into the community or is already here. Before this ordinance, massage operations could register under any name without identifying the services offered, so it has been difficult for town officials to keep tabs on them.

“This has been the best tool that municipalities have found when dealing with this,” said Village Attorney Everette M. Hill Jr., referring to the massage establishment charged with indecency. “Most of [these massage businesses] operated under the same group within the suburbs and would simply shift folks around.”

Now, if there is a violation, the massage establishment will face a two-year moratorium.

Speaking of businesses that might be moving to town, McDonald’s still has its sights on Northfield, said Anne Kane, Northfield's community development director.

Though it will not be moving into the BP-owned vacant lot at 1900 Willow Rd., the fast-good giant is looking into acquiring the vacant Caledonian site along Frontage Road or perhaps a site along the Waukegan Road Corridor, Kane said.

The village also plans a major resurfacing of Winnetka Avenue, which Sigman said should be completed by the end of the year. Officials still need to hire a contractor for the project.

Sigman predicted drainage improvement along the road and potentially a new traffic light at South Happ Road and Winnetka Avenue. “The substructure is so bad [that] it needs a substantial amount of reconstruction,” Sigman said of about the planned resurfacing.

At the end of the meeting, board president Fred Gougler made a point to commend the police and fire departments for how they handled the recent blizzard and its aftermath of at least 17 inches of snow.

“Congratulations for doing a wonderful job,” Gougler told Fire-Rescue Chief Mike Nystrand and Police Chief Bill Lustig. “We all thank you.”

Nystrand said that even with no advance notice, all of the village’s volunteer firefighters reported to duty, working in five-person, 12-hour shifts. He said what helped was that most residents complied with the village’s warnings to stay home, so there were no cars stranded on the roads and no one was injured.

Finance Director Steve Noble said the village is trying to get Cook County to reimburse the village for expenses incurred during the snowstorm.

In other village news, Northfield’s population has apparently declined, falling from 5,726 in 2006 after an update of 2000 figures to 5,548 in the latest federal demographic survey.

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