Bloomington city staff believes it's come up with a plan to expand video gambling that will meet city council approval.
After lengthy discussion during a Committee of the Whole meeting last week, the council will vote Monday night on a plan to lift a moratorium on gambling licenses, by allowing for eight more establishments in the city. The city currently has licenses at 52 bars, restaurants, truck stops, fraternal organizations and other businesses.
“I don’t think you are ever going to get to a place where you are able to address every question, but we feel as though we’ve gotten really close,” Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said.
Tyus said capping the number of licenses at 60 allows for limited growth.
“There are also other standards, I will call them, being put in place to make sure that what is happening going forward isn’t, I’ll say, in the vein of a video gaming parlor,” Tyus said.
The fee would remain $500 per terminal, but large trucks stops would pay $1,500 each.
Businesses would have to show gambling sales don't exceed 50% of gross revenue, except for large truck stops. Those truck stops would also be allowed to 10 terminals; everyone else is capped at five terminals.
The city would also look to partner with nonprofits to offer addiction treatment services.
Boys & Girls Club Sale
The council is also expected to approve selling three acres at Sunnyside Park to the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal for $1. The city announced the deal last September, but Mayor Tari Renner said legal and bureaucratic hurdles slowed the sale.
The Boys & Girls Club plans to raise money to construct a new building at the site. The $12 million to $15 million building is intended to serve children on the city’s west side.
“It’s going to be an incredible opportunity for this neighborhood and for the kids who are going to be able to use this space,” Tyus said.
As part of the deal, the club is pledging various park and drainage improvements at the site.
Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason stands to get a 3.5% pay raise after the city council gave him the highest ranking possible after a one-year performance review.
The council will vote Monday night on a plan to raise Gleason's pay to about $191,475 and to give him a fifth week of vacation per year.
The pay bump would be retroactive to Gleason's one-year anniversary on July 23.
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