Aldermen will consider changing city ordinance to allow video gaming in Moline.
The Moline Committee of the Whole on Tuesday voted 6-1 to have staff draft an amendment to change the city ordinance that prohibits gambling. Ald. Richard Meredith, 2nd Ward, voted against the motion. Ald. Lori Turner, 5th Ward, was absent.
The vote came after city attorney Maureen Riggs told aldermen the Illinois Video Gaming Act -- passed in 2009 -- likely will be implemented by the end of the year. The state has completed writing the needed regulations, she said, and is accepting applications from establishments wanting to offer video poker or blackjack.
Among more than 1,500 municipalities in Illinois, 1,115 allow video gaming, Ms. Riggs said; 353 prohibit it.
She said 74 of the city's 116 liquor license holders would be eligible for video gaming. Establishments must offer on-site consumption only, which would include bars, restaurants and private clubs, she said. But she added that, due to additional rules requiring the gaming area to be restricted from minors, she estimated no more than 40 license holders would apply.
If each was granted one video gaming terminal, Moline would receive an estimated $90,000 in new revenue annually, Ms. Riggs said. If all 40 were granted the maximum of five gaming machines, the city could receive $450,000 in new revenue annually, she said.
The city also could impose a license fee per machine, but she suggested the city match the current $50 charge per amusement machine.
Rascals owner Ken Bailey said video gaming will bring new revenue for both bars and the city. He said many customers left when Illinois implemented rules against smoking in public.
"We are still trying to get those people back," he said. Video gaming would offer customers something new and a reason to come back to Moline bars, Mr. Bailey said.
He noted Rock Island will allow video gaming and it appears East Moline will, too. If Moline doesn't change its ordinance, Mr. Bailey said, the city could lose current and new customers to neighboring cities.
Ald. John Knaack, 1st Ward, asked why the state lottery can be sold in Moline if gambling is prohibited. Ms. Riggs said the ordinance does not include the state lottery in the definition of gambling. Video gaming is, she said.
In other business, city engineer Scott Hinton discussed the proposed 2013 Capital Improvement Program, saying $14.3 million will be needed to complete all proposed projects. However, only $13.7 is available.
The $628,000 shortfall is in storm water utility funds, he said, noting the last storm water utility rate increase went into effect in 2005. Mr. Hinton said water and sewer rates have increased since then, but the storm water utility has not.
To cover the shortfall, Mr. Hinton said a 60 percent rate increase would be needed. That would raise the average yearly bill for residents from $23.36 to $37.38, close to what Rock Island residents now pay, Mr. Hinton said.
A 34 percent increase to the storm water utility would raise the annual bill to $31.30, he said, comparable to what East Moline residents pay.
Mr. Hinton also said he could cut the list of proposed projects for 2013.
Aldermen asked about the effect of a phased-in rate increase, and Mayor Don Welvaert asked Mr. Hinton to bring a rate recommendation to the committee of the whole for consideration.
Aldermen also voted to spend no more than $27,750 to have Missman Inc. study the causes of the retaining wall and slope failures at Riverside Cemetery. The company also will propose solutions.
Today is Tuesday, June 18, the 169th day of 2013. There are 196 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Fanatics have grown wonderfully civil since the president snubbedthem by revoking Burnside's infamous attack upon the freedom of the press. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Interstate baseball league has collapsed, leaving Davenport'sleading team without a league connection. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Passengers were stunned yesterday when lightning struck a LongView street car at 9th Ave. and 25th St. 1938 -- 75 years ago: X-ray examinations today traced the trouble with Dizzy Dean's$250,000 pitching arm to a pulled muscle back of his right shoulder blade. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Radio station WQAD in Moline is being considered by the NationalCivil Defense Office for selection as a "secured communication center" Mrs. Gault,executive deputy director of the Moline Civil Defense unit reported today. 1988 -- 25 years ago: "Marketplace 29 A.D." an unusual vacation Bible school programthat will allow children to live three days as people did during the Bible Times June 21-23. The three day program, is a joint project of Aldersgate and Bethel-Wesley UnitedMethodist churches.