08/06/13 — Pikeville to weigh fees for Internet cafes

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Pikeville to weigh fees for Internet cafes

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on August 6, 2013 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The Pikeville Town Board will hold a public hearing at its next meeting to discuss charging Internet cafes a fee for the computers they use for gaming.

At the town board meeting Monday night, Town Administrator Blake Proctor proposed the board impose a $750 per machine fee on the businesses. But board members questioned the amount, with board commissioner Todd Anderson calling the amount excessive.

Proctor admitted he set the proposed amount high to open discussion of the issue, which had been tabled since last year when the town decided to wait and see what the state Legislature and courts were going to say about the legality of the businesses.

Since then, the state banned the cafes but not all counties are enforcing the ban and a legal challenge is pending.

Commissioner Charles Hooks agreed with Anderson that the fee was too high and noted that the cafe now in operation in town had caused no problems.

Commissioner Ward Kellum said he believes the town should charge the businesses a fee, like many other towns do, and made a motion to accept Proctor's proposal.

The board was advised by town attorney Will Spicer to call a public hearing on the issue before moving forward and the board agreed. The hearing will be held at the beginning of the board's meeting in September.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of hand-held meter readers for $13,134 to speed the reading of electric and water meters. Proctor said they would pay for themselves in two years by making the process more efficient.

Commissioners discussed the purchase of a new utility truck for the electric department but eventually tabled the issue.

The board also approved the repaving of several streets and investigating drainage problems on others. The streets to be repaved are: two blocks of Yvonne Street, East Church Street from Goldsboro Street to Railroad Street, South Fort Street from Ham Street to Pikeville-Princeton Road, West Ham Street from Mill Street to Washington Street and West Church Street from Park Street to Washington Street.

Also, the board announced that a preliminary agreement had been reached on buying land to expand the town cemetery. And commissioner Robert Hooks, speaking on behalf of the Lions Club, received permission from the board to erect welcome signs around the town.

The commissioners, in a split vote, agreed to stop the practice of allowing police officers to take patrol cars home when they are off duty, except for the police chief. And they instructed Proctor to investigate which streets in town should have signs indicating a slower speed limit than the town-wide speed limit of 45 mph. The speed limit in residential neighborhoods should be lower, they said.