By RYAN FERGUSON
GIBSON CITY — The council voted this week to waive the fee assessed to businesses for coin-operated amusement machines.
There are 40 such machines throughout the city — everything from pool tables and jukeboxes to state-regulated gaming machines. Previously, the city charged businesses $50 each for the first five in an establishment and $25 for any others.
The state recently changed the law so that cities could no longer charge more than $25 per state-regulated gaming machine. Because of the revenue those gaming machines generate for the city, the council agreed to waive the coin-operated amusement machine fee rather than change it.
The city receives 5 percent of the net profits from the state-regulated gaming machines. In 2013, the city earned nearly $20,000 through those profits. Through the first two months of this year, that total is $4,621.51.
The city's fiscal year begins May 1, so any checks that have already been received for next year will be taken back to the businesses. For those who have not yet paid, a letter will be sent out this week by the clerk's office alerting them to the change.
In other council news:
— The Sand Trap was granted a one-day liquor license for July 19 to sell alcohol outside the establishment within a temporary fence around that portion of the property at 120 East 1st St.
There will be a live band performing in that area, and the council made sure owner Marc Peterson was aware of some noise complaints some members heard after last year's event.
Chief Steve Cushman said the police were never contacted regarding complaints, but Peterson said he would work harder to avoid noise from traveling too far north into the town's residential area.
— Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley fifth-grade students asked Scott Davis, chairman of the streets and alley committee, if they could paint the concrete blocks in the middle of North Lott Boulevard as part of an Earth Day project.
The council agreed the city would provide the white paint necessary. Davis said the students also plan to add artwork to those blocks after the white paint is applied, such as flowers.