PEORIA - Restaurant and bar owners in Peoria will have to pay a little extra to run video gambling machines.
Tuesday, Peoria city council approved a new city ordinance that requires a new license fee for establishments that want to have video gaming.
Owners will pay $250 for the first machine and $50 for each additional machine.
The state limit is five machines per establishment. The city says the fee will help cover labor costs for issuing licenses, and the ordinance gives the municipality the ability to regulate video gaming in the city. Originally, the city proposed a higher, flat-rate fee of $500 per establishment. But Tuesday, local bar owners spoke before council and asked that the city lower the cost and monitor the financial impact of video gambling at least for one year. One bar owner said she already pays nearly $3,000 in license fees and does not know how much more her business could take.
"It's a choice for them. It's a business decision on whether they want to take a risk on spending the money versus on what their income may be. But I think the council did a good job at hearing some of the concerns of some of the business owners tonight and said I'd meet you half way, " said Peoria mayor Jim Ardis.
The ordinance passed nine to one, with Councilman Dan Irving voting against. It will take effect next month.
The city also took a moment of silence and recognized the memory of late Peoria mayor Jim Maloof.
The former mayor of twelve years passed away Saturday at the age of 93.
Prior to Tuesday's council meeting, city leaders held a moment of silence and asked that those in the room reflect on Maloof's legacy.
Maloof's tenure ended in 1997. Current city councilman Bill Spears served during Maloof's tenure and said he learned a lot from the former mayor.
"He always was a cheerleader for the city of Peoria and he always was a man that was positive and made sure that Peoria and central Illinois was on the map," Spears said.
"He's done a lot for our community and a few moments of silence before a council meeting doesn't equate into everything that needs to be said about Jim," said Ardis.