RED SPRINGS — The Board of Commissioners decided on Tuesday to expand the zones for Internet gaming in the town but limit when the hours the businesses could operate on Sundays.
The town previously only allowed Internet gaming in its Central Business District, but will now allow the businesses in its General Business Districts. The town charges businesses a $2,500 privilege fee and a $1,500 license fee for each gaming machine, according to Town Manager James Bennett. He said the town currently receives about $148,000 a year in fees from businesses for gaming machines.
Bennett said that several businesses in the town’s General Business District were already operating gaming machines. He said instead of prosecuting those violators, the town would benefit by collecting fees.
“It appears that what we have as a way of trying to control it is through the license fee,” Bennett said.
Commissioner David Shook opposed allowing the businesses in General Business Districts.
“Are we being shortsighted about the money, or are we opening a can of worms where it might turn into a bunch of them?” Shook said. “I just want to make sure we don’t get 25 of them over there.”
The commissioners decided to limit the hours for Internet gaming businesses from noon to midnight. The businesses were previously allowed to operate from 8 a.m. to midnight.
In other business, the board heard from George Hall, who said the town’s cemetery has about 10 empty plots remaining. Hall said he discovered an area that could be cleared to create about 200 additional gravesites.
Hall estimated that clearing the land would cost the town about $8,000, but would allow the town to sell about 200 additional lots for about $400 each. The board voted to budget money to clear the land and expand the cemetery.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
— Approved applying for a $200,000 North Carolina Catalyst grant to build rental houses at 110 E. Seventh Ave. for disabled people.
— Approved a request to subdivide land owned by the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority at 110 E. Seventh Ave. to build four single-family houses and two one-bedroom duplexes.
— Heard a presentation from Kimberly J. Siran of Coaly Design about the Small Town Economic Prosperity Program.
— Approved a new conflict-of -interest policy for town employees to meet a requirement for the NC Catalyst grant.
— Approved a resolution to start accepting bids to rehabilitate the town’s water treatment plant.
— Approved a budget amendment to pay for the town’s portion of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program Grant.
— Recognized Janay Franklin, a senior at Red Springs High School, and William Hair, a senior at Flora McDonald Academy, as students of the month.