With about 10 video gambling establishment proprietors in attendance Monday, the Peru Finance Committee decided to take more time to research changes to its video gambling terminal fee structure.
Mayor Ken Kolowski said the city has about 30 days to figure out a plan.
Initially, Kolowski said he would bring a fee proposal of $500 per machine to the Finance Committee and City Council for a vote, with the establishment owner and distributor splitting the fee 50/50, but he proposed a new plan pushing more of the fee onto the distributor.
The new plan would have each of the seven distributors in Peru pay a $10,000 flat fee to do business within the city. Despite the city’s home rule status, City Attorney Scott Schweickert said the proposal is at risk of being challenged in litigation by one of the distributors, because the state’s statute says the proprietor and distributor have to share the fee.
During public comment, establishment proprietors shared the same concern, saying they were afraid the distributors would bill them to share the city’s fee, potentially creating a scenario where the business owners foot a substantial bill.
Kolowski said the whole goal is to collect more money from the companies taking it away from the city and not burden the city’s local business owners.
The Finance Committee decided to table the issue until its next meeting, asking Schweickert to seek more information. The fees are collected May 1 during liquor license renewals.
Alderman Mike Sapienza suggested the city could increase the fees incrementally over a period of years to lessen the burden of a sudden increase. At this time, the city charges $35 per machine. Some communities, such as Streator, have raised the fees to $250 per video gambling machine, which is the maximum a non-home rule community can charge.
So far in 2022, there were 179 machines operating in 32 establishments, netting $1.3 million in total income. The previous year, there were 194 machines operating in 35 establishments in Peru, netting $7.5 million in income — even with machines being shut down the first 16 days of the year. With their share of the revenue, the city collected $375,618 and the state $2.1 million.
OREGON — Oregon City Council members again put off deciding whether to raise the annual video gaming terminal fee.
At their March 8 meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to table the matter until May 24. The annual fee is charged on June 1, City Administrator Darin DeHaan said.
“It gives us time to go back and look at pre-COVID and COVID revenue [from the gaming terminals] and see how much of an impact that made,” Finance Commissioner Terry Schuster said.
The matter originally was considered at the council’s Feb. 23 meeting, but council members postponed making a decision after hearing protests from local business owners who rent video gaming terminals.
At the March 8 meeting, Mayor Ken Williams proposed tabling the matter for a year to give businesses a chance to use profits from the terminals to assist in recovering revenue lost from COVID-19 impacts.
“We could wait a year without any harm to the city and then when we do it, we do it as a tiered basis,” Williams suggested.
According to the Illinois Gaming Board’s video gaming monthly revenue reports, Oregon made $173,685.95 from video gaming terminal taxes and fees in 2021.
In a separate interview, DeHaan said $40,000 of that money, goes into the city’s General Fund to support general operational expenses, $50,000 goes into the City Hall Capital Improvement Fund to help pay for the upkeep of the building and the remainder is allocated to the Economic Development Fund.
“[The Economic Development Fund supports] things that spur economic growth, like downtown flowers, landscaping and watering, to our contract with an economic development consultant, website design and maintenance, brochures, newsletters, some facade grants, etc.,” DaHaan said. “We also used it to help get the Farmers’ Market started last year.”
DANVILLE — The Danville City Council’s Public Services Committee voiced support Tuesday night for the city to increase its available video gaming licenses from 30 to 33 to allow the three businesses on the city’s waiting list to each have one.
The full city council is expected to act on the change at its 6 p.m. March 1 meeting at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St. The council will start meeting again in person.
Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr told the committee the three businesses seeking video gaming licenses are: The Big Easy restaurant and banquet center at 310 Bryan Ave.; Stroud Liquors and the BP gas station, both on South Gilbert Street.
Regarding adding video gaming license classifications, Williams said the issue the city has is that the gaming and liquor ordinances are essentially tied together.
Williams said the city needs to update its liquor license and gaming license ordinances, but that could take several months.
He said the liquor license ordinance hasn’t been updated in decades, and he, City Clerk Lisa Monson and Corp. Counsel James Simon think it needs to be completely rewritten.
Williams said with businesses in the community they hoped to support, one option, which aldermen supported instead of waiting months for an ordinance rewrite, would be to increase the number of gaming licenses by three now to allow the city to get the current businesses off the waiting list.
“We could just simply have a temporary fix,” Williams said.
Then the city could put a moratorium on gaming licenses until the ordinances were revised.
“That sounds good to me,” Alderman Rick Strebing said.
Williams said this would help businesses in the short term, but also not allow video gaming machines on every corner.
In response to Alderwoman Eve Ludwig on if the gaming licenses could increase still later on, Williams said it’d be difficult to go back on the 33 when businesses make those investments. He also said he sees the gaming licenses number possibly going up a little more as new restaurants or bars come into the city and want to have gaming.
He said he doesn’t think the public has a problem with a little higher of a number, but they don’t want gaming parlors everywhere.
“I think we have to be careful of the number of general licenses …,” Williams said, adding that the city wants to be business-friendly but respect residents by not having an oversaturation of the gaming parlors.
In other business, the committee:
Heard Alderwoman Tricia Teague ask about a $1,486 cost to CK Reporting for a deposition in the city’s vouchers payable. Williams said this was regarding a deposition he gave in the casino lawsuit.
Recommended approving a budget amendment for the legal department to acquire a laptop for the assistant city attorney’s use because the information technology department has advised it has no such devices available for use by the assistant city attorney. This is due to the need for service of summonses for municipal court defendants including out-of-state services. The $3,400 budget amendment will be paid by the city’s general fund reserves.
Recommended authorizing a police department budget amendment for online training expenses for the deputy chiefs of $8,000 that meet the spending requirements of the police secured funds but exceed the remaining balance. The increase is paid with police secured funds Reserves.
Recommended approving an intergovernmental agreement between Danville School District 118 and the Danville Police Department for the services of one of the city’s police officers to perform the duties of a School Resource Officer (SRO) at North Ridge Middle School, an officer to serve as an SRO at Danville High School, and an additional one of the city’s police officers to serve as an SRO shared between Danville High School and Kenneth D. Bailey Academy.
Heard City Comptroller Ashlyn Massey say that Deputy Comptroller Kristen Landis has started with the city this week. Landis comes from Clifton Larson Allen. The community development division also saw Planner 1 Natasha Elliott resign. Massey also told the aldermen that they’ve had questions about the public receiving Homefield Energy letters. She said the letters are legit, as they are legally obligated to notify customers about switching to the city’s aggregate rate and explain how they’d enroll in the municipal program.
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EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — City officials in East Dubuque intend to take advantage of two recent revenue-generating tools at their disposal.
City Council members this week decided to raise fees for both cannabis establishments and video gaming terminals with the intent of reinvesting the income into city beautification and safety projects.
Cannabis license fees
East Dubuque receives regular sales tax and an additional 3% excise tax from sales at any cannabis dispensaries within city limits.
“If you want the dispensaries to do more for our town, you would increase the license fee,” City Manager Loras Herrig said.
Noting that some Illinois communities charge as much as $180,000 for an annual license, he proposed several ordinances that would increase the annual permit fee for cannabis cultivation facilities and dispensaries from the current $1,500.
The council unanimously voted for a $25,000 annual license fee.
“We’ve got a lot of projects going on, as we all know,” Council Member Chad Biermeier said. “A lot of money is going to go to those projects, so if … we can raise that fee to hit some of these things, I think it’s a good decision.”
Only one dispensary — The Dispensary East Dubuque, 1709 Illinois 35 N. — operates in the city. Owner Dan Dolan could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
In December, the council reduced the minimum distance between licensed dispensaries from 15,000 feet to 5,000 feet, paving the way for up to two additional establishments to open within city limits.
New businesses would be subject to the increased fee prior to their opening. Dolan’s existing license is due for renewal in May, Herrig said, at which point he would pay the elevated fee.
City leaders also are taking advantage of a recent change to state law that enables officials in some cities to impose an annual fee of $250 per video gaming terminal. The fee previously was capped at $25 per year.
The East Dubuque council unanimously approved increasing the fee to $250 annually.
A recent update to the new law requires that the fee be shared between the owners of the gaming terminals and businesses in which they are located, so Herrig proposed developing a program to reimburse establishment owners for their increased costs.
“The goal is never to charge the bar owners more,” he said. “It was to get increased revenue for the city.”
Currently, 15 East Dubuque establishments host 84 video gaming terminals. At the new rate, they would generate $21,000 in revenue for the city each year before reimbursements, which would reduce new city revenues to $10,500.
The new terminal fees take effect Dec. 1.
Herrig intends to meet with terminal hosts today to solicit feedback.
Region: Northern,News,Region: Galena,City: Dubuque, IA
Cities in the area are raising fees for video gambling terminals after changes to state law.
State legislation effective Dec. 17 allows nonhome-rule municipalities to establish an annual fee of $250 per video gaming terminal rather than the previous cap of $25 per year.
The Dixon and Sterling city councils have both recently approved upping fees from $25 to $250 per terminal. The Rock Falls Council will likely take up the measure soon after the ordinance goes through committee.
Dixon had 168 video gambling terminals across 30 locations in 2021, which generated $436,059 in local gambling revenue since January 2021, according to data from the Illinois Gaming Board.
Sterling had 167 gambling terminals across 30 locations and has brought in $388,709 across the year. There are 146 gambling terminals at 26 locations in Rock Falls with 2021 city revenue totaling $372,790.
According to December gaming reports, Dixon had 158 terminals in 28 establishments and Sterling had 156 terminals in 28 locations.
Based on that information, the fee increases would mean bringing an additional $39,500 in Dixon, $39,000 in Sterling and $36,500 in Rock Falls if the council approves the increase.
In December alone, video gambling terminal net income was $770,406 in Dixon, $665,779 in Sterling and $649,648 in Rock Falls.
Businesses must have a liquor license, specifically a pour license, in order to have video gambling. Restaurants, bars, video gambling parlors and other qualifying businesses can then house up to six terminals.
In an attempt to curb the number of video gaming machines in the community, the City of Lincoln is raising the cost of those machines.
Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch indicates as the gaming commissioner, he was not going to approve any further machines in the community until things quote – leveled out – because he felt there were too many machines in proportion to the population.
For the Mayor, he approached the Liquor Commission about this. He believes there is going to be a transition period because they have existing applications for the machines before the change will be effective and so they want to remain good business partners with its community businesses.
Gaming machines have proven to be a good revenue generator for communities. According to Mayor Welch, adding gaming machines is not increasing the revenue for the city.
Video gaming money is not necessarily designated for specific budgets or projects, however, Mayor Welch says conversations are being had to do that in the future so there can be a visible demonstration of the benefits of the increase in the fees for the machines.
With the next fiscal year’s budget beginning to be put together, the Mayor hopes perhaps the plans to designate video gaming money could be a part of the upcoming budget process.
Video gaming income for Washington County businesses, municipalities, and state recovered in 2021 to above pre-Pandemic levels, according to the Illinois Gaming Board annual report. Income was up sharply in 2021 from 2020, when it was shut down about five months.
The share of income for the Village of Okawville increased from $26,762 in 2020 to $55,127 in 2021. That surpassed the $47,603 in 2019.
Mayor Dave Jasper said that the money will likely be used to replace one of the police cars that has high mileage. Another use will be replacing a sign in front of the Village Hall with a message center.
The Centralia City Council is moving forward with engineering work on a sanitary sewer line extension and improvements to several streets. City Manager Scott Randall requested a resolution be approved with Gonzalez Companies, LLC to perform engineering design and surveying services for the Meadow Lane Sanitary Sewer Extension.
“During the budget review we talked about doing a new sewer lift station. Since that point in time Public Works has come up with a mechanism where we think we can do a gravity flow. This is a proposal to hire Gonzalez to do both the design and construction supervision. This will be expanding our sewer capacity in the vicinity of Castle Ridge and will also accommodate their expected expansions.”
Randall says the work would also allow the existing sewer lift station on Meadow Lane to be abandoned. The initial engineering service fee is $21,600 with construction phase costs to be paid on a time and material basis at the engineer’s hourly rate.
The city council Monday night also moved forward on several street overlay projects being planned for this summer. The work will be on South Sycamore from East 2nd to East 7th, South Pine for East Third to East 7th, East 7th from South Elm to South Pine and East 5th from South Pine to Cedar Street. It also includes sidewalk ramp improvements and other miscellaneous work to complete the project to meet ADA ramp standards.
Resolutions were approved for $640,000 in motor fuel tax funds to be set aside for the asphalt overlay and with Gonzalez Companies to perform the design engineering and construction engineering services.
The council agreed to raise the video gaming terminal fee from $25 to $250 for for-profit businesses and $125 for fraternal organizations and veteran organizations. The state recently approved increasing the maximum fee cities can charge for video gaming terminals to $250.
Centralia Fire Chief John Lynch and Police Chief Greg Dodson will now remain in their positions until other action is taken by the city. Randall saw no need to continue entering new contracts every two years.
No action was taken on proposed liquor license changes until Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Bryan Kuder returns. Mayor Pro Tem Spanky Smith was also absent Monday night, with Councilman Rob Jackson presiding over the meeting.
After a few appearances in front of the Flossmoor Village Board, a man who plans to open a wine bar with video gaming in Flossmoor Commons finally got the green light in the form of a newly created liquor license.
The village board voted unanimously Monday, Dec. 20, to create a new liquor license class, A-1, that permits pouring from machine-operated systems and a limited amount of retail sales. The license was granted to The Cork Wine and Video Gaming Cafe, owned by Ronakkumar Patel and to be located in a 1,200-square-foot space at 19870 Kedzie Ave.
“I appreciate your patience through the process and I wish you luck with the business,” Trustee Gary Daggett said. “It’s to everybody’s benefit that you do well.”
Some trustees criticized Patel on Dec. 6 for presenting little of his plans in writing and that those plans kept changing. They also wanted to know where retail products would be stored inside the business.
Patel, owner of Family Wines & Liquors in Homewood, came back to the board Dec. 20 with a written business plan as well as layout images.
“This is what I wanted all along,” Trustee James Mitros said. “I think it’s a nice representation.”
Trustee Brian Driscoll added, “We sent you back to the drawing board a little bit, but this is what we want to see.”
The idea, Patel said, is for people to drink beer, wine and liquor there in a wine bar setting, as well as have the opportunity to purchase select items in bottles to take home. The space also has an area for video gaming, as Patel said he intends to pursue a gaming license.
The plan calls for food to be brought into the wine bar from an Indian restaurant in Tinley Park and made available to customers in single, sealed containers. Patel said he is likely scrapping prior plans to also allow customers to bring their own food into the establishment.
Under the new license, retail is limited to 25% of the space’s floor area. The license also limits hours of operation at the business to 10 a.m.-11 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.
Mayor Michelle Nelson appointed Jamie O’Shea to the position of vice-chair of the Community Relations Commission. That role was previously held by Trustee Rosalind Mustafa. Nelson said O’Shea is global practice planner and analysis coordinator for Jones Day. He was appointed to the CRC in 2019.
Police Chief Tod Kamleiter introduced Officer Guillermo Galarza to the community. Galarza, who took the oath of office at the meeting, started his law enforcement career in 2019 in South Chicago Heights. He started field training with Flossmoor on Nov. 19.
DIXON – The City Council is looking at raising fees for businesses with video gambling machines, and demand continues for liquor licenses that allow the machines.
In Dixon, there are 168 video gambling terminals across 30 locations, Mayor Li Arellano said during Monday’s City Council meeting.
He said he’s been approached by many businesses wanting a pour liquor license that would allow them to install a video gambling area such as Snyders Pharmacy and several area gas stations.
The council will need to discuss possibly increasing the number of available licenses, but the city’s only way to curb video gambling and gambling parlors is through limiting the number of licenses, he said.
Council members also discussed increasing fees for the terminals and looking at earmarking gambling revenue the city receives for improvement projects. Gambling has generated more than $272,000 during the current fiscal year.
Arellano said the amount of revenue gambling generates is shocking, and the council has focused in the past on limiting the spread of gambling locations.
STREATOR – The city of Streator intends on increasing annual video gaming machine fees. Streator’s City Council agreed on a $250 increase per terminal, a cost the licensed establishment and operator would share. There are currently over 150 video gaming machines at 30 locations in the city and according to the council, generated over $6 million this year just from February to November. Fees would be collected this coming spring.
The Salem City Council on a 3-2 vote has approved a Class A liquor license for the former Pizza Hut building on West Main and Kinney Boulevard.
The action clears the way for the owners and operators of El Rancherito Mexican Restaurant, Rose and Luis Roma, to proceed with trying to lease the building for a high end package liquor facility that would allow video gaming.
Mayor Nic Farley cast the deciding vote in favor of the license.
“As a local business that invest in the community and I wanna be as pro business as I can so I thought if the community wants that they will support it and if they don’t, then they won’t.”
Councilman Jim Koehler made the motion and Craig Morton provided the second as well as the other two favorable votes. Koehler, who had opposed more video gaming in the past, said the local ownership makes a difference and he didn’t want to block a project. He also had fears the building would deteriorate if it sat vacant.
Council persons Amy Troutt and Royce Bringwald cast the two no votes, saying they struggled with justification for more video gaming.
Rose Roma told the city council she understands their concerns.
“I understand you don’t want Salem to turn into a gambling place, but it’s just a thought of a nicer liquor spot. Go pick up a drink, take it home or stay and play a few games. Obviously not a place you want people to just go and get wasted.”
Roma said she did not have a timetable for when the new business could open.
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