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Video gaming ban remains

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The much-talked about possibility of lifting the 2012 ban on video gaming in the village stalled when no motion was forthcoming from any trustee during the April 18 board meeting. The marathon meeting ran nearly three hours by the time members of the public had exercised their right to address the board.

This issue first came up in January when trustees decided to keep the ban in effect. A few weeks later, a new proposal was brought to the board to open a pizza and sports pub in vacant retail space on Barnett Avenue.

On March 7 trustees voted 4-2 to revisit possibly lifting the ban via a revised liquor code, causing weeks of discussion among residents and trustees.

A total of 18 people spoke at the podium Monday during the public comments portion of the evening, including two former mayors, a former trustee and two local ministers. Only five people voiced support for lifting the ban, and three of those were associated with the group proposing the new business. Public comments lasted nearly an hour, even with a strict three-minute limit per speaker.

Trustee Steve Hubbard thanked everyone for attending, calling it “healthy to speak out for or against.”

In the end, while a couple of trustees said they were not against video gaming itself, almost all of them were opposed to the ordinance as it’s currently written. State law and regulations limit the village’s ability to further regulate video gaming. Going forward the issue could come up again, for example in response to a new proposal.

“I have clarity about doing what’s right,” Trustee Bob Gruenewald said. “I urge this board to not lift the ban.”

For now, the ban remains in effect.

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