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Chester council approves cap on gaming machines

By Don Berry
Contributing Writer
updated: 11/7/2018 10:51 AM

After rejecting two separate plans last month, the Chester City Council Monday revisited the idea of restricting the number of establishments with gambling machines allowed in the city, eventually deciding to cap the number at 11.

The council turned down plans to cap the number of establishments at 11 and 12 in October, But the ordinance capping the number at 11 was reconsidered after Aldermen Robert Platt and Ray Allison -- both of whom voted no last month -- moved to bring it back for discussion.

City Attorney Jeff Kerkhover explained that the ordinance would prevent any other establishment with a liquor license from installing gambling machines in their businesses. Currently, nine businesses have gambling machines and the soon to be opened Lucky Larry's and Rio Grande would have the final two.

By state statute, an establishment may have up to five machines, All current establishments have five except the Chester Country Club, which only has three.

The new ordinance caps the number of establishments at 11 and the number of machines at 55. The council unanimously approved with Alderman Donny Clark absent.

In other action, the council approved the final payment for the Buena Vista Street Project to Red Dot Construction and Equipment Rentals, Inc for the amount of $50,356.71.

The council continued to move forward with the establishment of an Enterprise Zone ordinance, joining other neighboring communities and Randolph and Monroe counties in an intergovernmental agreement to n the pursue the zoning from the state of Illinois.

They approved a Clearwave Master Service Agreement and made a resolution for the 2019 Motor Fuel Tax. Kerkhover reminded the council they would need to set the tax code at the December meeting for appropriations for 2019.

Police Chief Ryan Coffey reported his department would be presenting an active shooter training program at Chester High School later this month. The presentation was given at Chester Grade School in October. He noted that the new squad car has not been delivered yet due to a backlog at the dealership.

Fire Chief Marty Bert reported his department answered 12 calls in October, putting the yearly total at 84. He also reported there are electrical issues with one of the fire trucks and it is currently out of service.

The council will meet again on Nov. 19. The public is welcome to attend.