The City of Winchester recently heard proposals about new gaming facilities that led to a split vote at their April 6th city council meeting. The council was divided because the proposed gaming facilities require a liquor license.
The first person to make their proposal to the council was Kayla Latham who wants to put in an arcade for kids, but would also have a video gaming area for adults at the open building next to Big Daddy’s Doghouse on South Main Street.
The second proposal came from Harlan Smith representing the Project Plamor Investment Group who is planning on putting in a combination pizza parlor and simulated golf establishment in the building that used to be the Pitt Stop on East Cross Street.
The third proposal came from Tanner Hurrelbrink, who submitted an application to the city to put in a slot machine parlor in the old chiropractor’s office across from the bank. According to the Scott County Times, Hurrelbrink did not appear at the City Council meeting on April 6th.
Mayor Rex McIntire says that a lengthy discussion ensued on all three applications because gaming parlors all require liquor licenses: “The proposal for the establishment at the old doctor’s office…that one really wasn’t popular at all with the council because it was too close to the Methodist Church. It would sit just catty-corner across the street. Secondly, all it was going to be was a gambling facility like many of the ones you see around different towns today. That was all it was going to bring was more gaming, which we already have gaming. One of the attractive features about the other two proposals was that they are going to bring something different to town and more recreational opportunities for kids and adults.”
McIntire says he ultimately decided to side with the council members who voted for the creation of two new liquor licenses for the city: “My main concern is that I don’t want people to think that we are promoting gambling and we’re not promoting more drinking. From my viewpoint and as well as the three council members that voted ‘yes’ is that we’re promoting business in our downtown area. I think one of the councilmen put it very well when he said that people aren’t beating down the doors in small towns to open businesses. We all agree that this isn’t necessarily the type of business that we like, but it’s better than empty buildings. Like I say, I’m promoting business. I’m not promoting gaming. I’m not promoting alcohol use. I’m promoting business for Winchester.”
McIntire says he had to break the 3-3 split of the council, with Aldermen Bill Jacquot, Lawrence Coultas, and Sandy Long voting in favor of the creation of the two new licenses and Alderman Jeff Pittman, Terry Gregory, and Ron Bell voting against them.
McIntire says he’s not awarded any of the proposals a liquor license yet. He says that he’s awaiting the business representatives of the proposals to see if they are going to complete various work on their proposals and actually do what they set out to do before he awards them a license.