Washington Times-Reporter - Washington, IL
  • Council approves video gaming changes

  • With few comments the Washington City Council approved two ordinances that will better control video gaming in the city.
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  • With few comments the Washington City Council approved two ordinances that will better control video gaming in the city.
    The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance change that limits video gaming license holders to those hold Class A and E liquor licenses. As part of the state law, only liquor license holders can also hold a video gaming license. The council’s action will hold it video gaming to taverns, restaurants and clubs that serve all types of alcohol.
    City officials, previously said they did not want to see a business start up as something such as a wine shop that includes the video gaming machines. A spike in demand for liquor licenses in December and January from the city prompted the council to review how it issues video gaming licenses.
    In related action, the council approved changes to serving hours for Class A and E license holders from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    The start of liquor sales on Sundays would remain at noon.
    The changes in sale hours for alcohol will begin May 1.
    The council also voted to end the video gaming moratorium that it put in place in January.
    Previously, the ordinance changes were set for a first reading Feb. 4, giving the public a chance to review the ordinance.
    The state approved the use of video gaming machines in 2009, and in November 2012 games started popping up in taverns and restaurants with a liquor license.
    Earlier, city officials said they did not anticipate the interest in adding the video gaming machines. Because of the pending licenses, the council did not want to spend a lengthy amount of time reviewing the ordinance.
    In other matters, the council will hold first readings on a proposal to renew the police department’s contract with Washington Community High School for a resource officer. The school district is expected to pay for 75 percent of the officer’s cost while the city pays the remaining 25 percent. The officer is assigned to the high school for about 10 months out of the year.
    The council is also considering proposal to rezone 121 Zinser St. from light industrial to general retail.
    Threads, Hope and Love is planning to move to 121 Zinser, formerly West Meats.
    The council is also reviewing its street maintenance program for 2013 and its 2013-14 budget. The budget must be in place by May 1.
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