The Effingham City Council is taking steps to limit video game gambling (video gaming) in city limits. The issue was brought the council’s attention at the October 18th session after discussion arose over a new business, that would include video gaming, petitioning the council to obtain a liquor license. According to Effingham Mayor Jeff Bloemker, while not opposed to video gaming in establishments like bars and restaurants, the city council wanted to avoid proliferation of any operations whose main revenue comes from gaming.
At City Attorney Tracy Willenborg’s suggestion, Mayor Bloemker indicated that regulations to limit video gaming would likely be included with the issuance of liquor licences.
Tuesday’s discussion was preliminary and no new regulations have been implemented as of yet, but the city team was directed by the council to research on what those new rules would look like for Effingham.
A open hearing on the issuance of alternate revenue source bonds, to the tune of 9,500,000, was also held at Tuesday’s meeting. The city is looking to use the money from the bonds to build a new police station, which is currently in the design phase. City Administrator Jim Arndt said that if the timeline progresses how they want, construction of the new station could begin as early as Spring of 2017 to be completed sometime in 2018. Hearing no public discussion, the hearing was closed.
In regular session, the City Council approved a resolution that allows for the purchase of an easement from Holmes Real Estate, LLC for the installation of a water main. Also approved was the abatement of several bond payments. This was done so that real estate taxes would not be used to pay the bonds as they are already budgeted in with other funds.
David Faller, of West and Company, presented the city’s annual audit. According to him, Effingham was issued a “clean” opinion meaning that all funds are being accurately represented by the city.
The City Council also heard from Arpit Shah, representing America’s Best Value Inn, on an outside rehabilitation project that would be partially paid for using TIF Funds.
Also discussed, was the purchase a of new Firetruck from Banner Fire Equipment for $407,945. The new engine would be replace an older engine that is nearing the end of its service lifespan.The Council also discussed updating Water Treatment Plant software and making an amendment to the Personnel Policy Manual.