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Pana gaming parlor license to carry $5,000 fee

Tom Latonis Breeze-Courier Writer

(PANA) — The Pana City Council gave first approval on Monday night to an amendment to their liquor code to establish a Class “P” Liquor License for video gaming parlors. The license comes with a $5,000 annual fee.

All seven members present unanimously approved the first reading. Second reading and formal passage will come at the Monday, Mar. 27, 2023.

Under the amendment, a “Video Gaming Parlor shall mean an establishment or business whose primary purpose is to operate video gaming terminals as defined in the Illinois Video Gaming Act and in which the sale of foods, snacks and alcoholic beverages is only incidental to the operation of the video gaming terminal.”

Pana Mayor Nathan Pastor said the amendment does not apply to bars and restaurants who are currently licensed in the city and City Attorney Stave Mahrt said other cities in Illinois, such as Decatur, has a similar type of license.

Currently, the highest priced liquor licenses – for convenience stores selling alcohol – are $850 each.

The amendment also carries the provision there must be a minimum of 1,000 feet between video gaming parlors.

There was no discussion by council members prior to the vote on the amendment. While the topic of video gaming parlors had been discussed by the Administration Committee of the Council, the amendment had not been reviewed by the committee before Monday night’s vote.

The city agreed to a contract with Benton and Associates of Jacksonville to oversee the process of bidding and construction of a new Waste Water Treatment Plant. The total cost is $880,000 with $40,000 of that for guiding the city through the bidding process. The city is in the process of applying for federal grant money to assist in the construction of the new facility.

Pending the City Attorney’s approval, the Council also approved a contract with Clark Dietz, Inc. Construction for $10,000. Ben Spreen of Benton and Associates said the company’s expertise is needed to complete plans for the waste water treatment plant. The application for grants for the project are due by the end of the month and it is better for favorable consideration if a lot of the preliminary planing is in place.

On the subject of the sewer system, members declined to pursue extending the city sewers around Lake Pana. The option was seen as cost prohibitive. Spreen said his company did the survey and the month charge to pay for a system per customer who come to $160 – and that is for the construction of the system only.

Approval of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Redevelopment agreement with Work Shop Marketing gained approval. The company is set to develop property along East Second St. in the 100 block which includes the former music store, the former George’s Candy Shop and two vacant lots adjacent to George’s, the former Bob’s Steak House and a lot on Second St.

The city will deed the property to the developer and provide for a total of $119,000 in TIF money. Of the total, $37,000 is for the property value; $43,000 is for roof repair work; and $39,000 for masonry work to the structures.

All plans for the redevelopment project must be approved by the Council. While no specific plans have been announced, the developer is looking into retail spaces, living quarters – short and long term – and dining.

An ordinance to sell several pieces of city owned surplus real estate gained approval on first reading. The properties are located at 807-1/2 E. Second St.; 1200 E. Second St.; and 412 S. Poplar St. The ordinance authorizes the city clerk to seek bids for those properties to be presented at a later date to the Council.

Mayor Pastor received permission to seek a part- time animal control officer and add a line item to the new fiscal year’s budget which takes effect on May 1.

They also approved a measure for the University of Illinois to conduct an archaeological reconnaissance of the property which the city will use to lay a water service line around the lake. Cost is just over $6,400.

City Engineer Greg Holthaus thanked the volunteers who helped plant 52 new trees in Kitchell, Kehias and Wilbur parks last weekend. About $7,000 was donated by individuals to fund the project.

The meeting adjourned at 7:42 p.m. Next meeting of the Pana City Council is Monday, Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Pana City Hall, 120 E. Third St.

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