Danville aldermen support increasing video gaming licenses by three | News


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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February 22, 2022 at 11:04PM