City Council allows video gambling within city limits

Video gambling machines, higher water fees and more were passed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Gambling machines will be put in Carbondale bars and fraternal organizations such as the Elks and Lions Club.

Though Mayor Joel Fritzler said early in the meeting he wouldn’t vote for any form of gambling to enter Carbondale, he and Councilwoman Corene McDaniel were outnumbered and the ordinance was approved by a 5-2 vote.

“We’re not here to play babysitter,” Councilman Lance Jack said. “If someone wants to gamble their life away, we can’t stop them.”

As well as fraternal and veterans organizations, the council’s vote will also allow video gaming at bars, retail liquor establishments and restaurants with liquor licenses.

An amended ordinance to allow higher water reconnection and water fees was also approved as well as a resolution for a feasibility study for a Tax Increment Financing District to run roughly along Illinois Avenue.

The city’s tourism bureau is one step closer to reopening it’s doors, too.

The bureau was unanimously approved for $75,000 to help complete its website, file all necessary state and local reports, develop a welcome center, balance its budget and hire an interim director.

“This project has been a longtime coming,” Mayor Joel Frtizler said. “It started two Mayors and two city managers ago.”

Contracts for construction of a water storage facility were also awarded to River City Construction LLC of Benton and Dean Bush Construction

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About Caleb Motsinger

Caleb Motsinger can be reached at or 536-3311 ext. 269.

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