The City Council turned down a proposal to bring the first pawn shop to town.
A pawnshop, which had been proposed for 457 W. Virginia St., would be a convenience for a person visiting a nearby food pantry, said Michelle J. Rozovics, a Crystal Lake attorney. That person, she argued, may want to hock a personal possession.
“People need short-term cash,” she said.
But Mayor Aaron Shepley cut short her argument. Rozovics was representing Peter Kozysa, the pawnshop petitioner.
Kozysa said he was formerly employed as a pit boss at casinos in Las Vegas and Elgin over the past few years. Kozysa said he was transitioning into the pawnshop business.
Kozysa told the City Council that a pawnshop would bring rare and interesting items to town.
“It’s not a good fit for our community,” Shepley said. “The business preys on people of little means who are down on their luck. …What we’re really talking about is the character of our community.”
Shepley said because the pawn business is so highly regulated—to monitor whether it is trafficking stolen merchandise—that in itself was an indicator that the city would be inviting trouble.
Council member Carolyn Schofield said the city recently invested millions in streetscapes and decorative crosswalks along Virginia Street.
“We have a grander vision,” she said.