City attorney Rick Abell explained that while the state has licensed bingo and established its regulations, the licenses and regulations for raffles are up to municipality and county governments. Under the ordinance, a non-profit organization — which can be education, a church, an organization or a business organization — that has been established for at least five years can apply for a raffle license. Among the regulations, the organization must have raffle manager and keep records explaining its expenses.
The idea was brought to the council by local businessman Charlie Eichorn, who is establishing an event center near I-24 to include a site for bingo and raffle. The idea of establishing a raffle ordinance “appealed to the city because of the number of organizations that are looking for fundraising. In the past, the city was able to assist them but due to the gaming revenue shortage, we cannot,” Abell said. “This gives them a tool.”
Alderman David Daugherty was absent from the meeting due to work obligations.
Also after suspending the rules, the council adopted an ordinance establishing utility deposits for all non-owner occupied residential properties.
The ordinance raises the utility deposit to $250 plus the first month’s water bill. If an occupant has a non-payment record, the utility deposit is $400 plus the first month’s water bill. For occupants whose bills are in good standing, if they move within the city limits, their deposit will be transferred to the new property.
Abell explained the ordinance is an effort to cut down on the large number of default payments for utilities, especially in rental residences.
In other business, the council:
• Approved an additional road closure of Third Street between Ferry and Metropolis streets for the annual Christmas parade. Sponsored by the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, the parade will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.
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