September 6 – Tonight the Decatur City Council could implement a cap on the number of video gaming parlors in Decatur.
The council has discussed video gaming on several occasions. Previously, they were in consensus that too many video gaming parlors were popping up all over the city. A Class P liquor license was created specifically for gaming parlors after the council saw too many places abusing licenses meant for restaurants.
City Manager Tim Gleason says the council now wants to cap the amount of licenses the city issues.
“In the video gaming discussions that we’ve had over the last couple of months, it became obvious that the council was really the most concerned about the Class P – the video gaming parlors,” Gleason explains. “At the last council meeting, I was given direction to cap the total amount.”
Decatur has a total of 23 gaming parlors and seven more establishments are in the process of securing a license. A change to the city code Tuesday night would cap the amount of Class P licenses at 30. Then, through attrition, the council would like the number of licenses reduced to 20. Additionally, similar to the rule for payday loan establishments, gaming parlors cannot be within 1,500 feet of each other.
Also on Tuesday night, the council will recess into a study session to review the bidding process and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) requirements for public works projects.
A couple of bidders on recent roadwork projects were deemed non-responsive after not completing all of the city’s requirements for bidding. Those bidders reached out to council saying they believed they did complete all of the requirements. That brought up questions from some council members and prompted the study session, Gleason says.
“Prior to the last council meeting, I had these discussions individually with council members where we walked through the bid process and the MBE ordinance,” he says. “The council members felt there was value in those meetings and wanted that to be shared with the public as well.”
Per the city’s minority participation goals, bidders must make “good faith effort” to reach out to MBEs when subcontracting. That’s just part of the requirements, Gleason says.
The study session will serve as a way to inform the public and gives the council an opportunity to speak about the bidding process and MBE requirement.
The Decatur City Council will meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center.