Utica could get four to six new video gaming terminals, increasing the village total to 50 or more. (Matthew Apgar)

July 08, 2022 at 5:25 am CDT

Utica could get four to six new video gaming terminals, increasing the village total to 50 or more.

Thursday, the Utica Planning Commission unanimously recommended a special use be granted to Dale Senica to operate a bar with video gaming. His bar, Alley Cat’s, would be in the rear of 142 Mill St. — between Mill Street Market and Canal Port — accessible through the alley.

“I just want to bring back a neighborhood bar where a guy can come through the back alley and have a beer,” Senica said, adding later, “It’s going to look great when I get done.”

Thursday’s vote was only a recommendation; Senica needs the approval of the Utica Village Board, which meets Thursday, July 14. If approved, gaming terminals in Utica would climb by 10%.

The Illinois Department of Revenue reported Utica had 10 establishments with 46 gaming terminals, as of May 2022. Last year, the village collected a revenue share of more than $70,000.

Separately, the Planning Commission continues to tweak the sign ordinance and advanced two proposals.

One is intended to limit flashing or illuminated signs. The commission proposes that any sign with a “changing message” — an LED sign, for example — requires a special use before it can be raised anywhere in the village.

The commission also modified the rules governing murals or wall signs. The ordinance now governs any wall facing a public street or alley.

The sign discussion resumes Thursday, July 28.

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July 8, 2022 at 06:59AM