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Village delays decision on games of skill

MILLERSPORT – Village officials decided to wait until next month to decide how to address Tim Nolan’s July 10 request to open a skill games business in Millersport. He wants to have 34 games.

Nolan is currently hospitalized following a motorcycle accident so he wasn’t available to answer questions Tuesday night. Mayor Dean Severance consulted with Village Solicitor Thomas Corbin and Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen about Nolan’s plans. “If they are proven to be games of skill, you can’t keep them out,” he reported.

The key question then is whether the games meet Ohio’s legal definition as games of skill, rather than of chance. Severance thought some games have been cleared by the Ohio Attorney General as “games of skill,” while others questioned whether there is a formal approval process for specific games. Severance plans to talk with Attorney General’s officeabout certificationbefore the next meeting.

If there is some type of certificationprocess for games meeting the skill requirement, village officialswill likely approve regulations mandating only certified games and setting annual fees. Both Buckeye Lake and Newark charge annual fees. Nolan also operates games in both places.

Village officials agree that so far what they’ve heard from residents is to keep the games out of town. But there are concerns about the costs to defend the village from a possible lawsuit if the games are banned. Council member Charles Mesko said a village ban could result in a games parlour right outside the village, leaving the village with all the problems and no revenue.

In other business Tuesday night, council members approved Street Superintendent Gilbert Arnold’s proposal to resurface 11 streets. He suggested one inch of base asphalt and one inch of finish asphalt for most of the streets. He thought the two inches could be reduced to 1.5 inches on some streets which might save about $6,000. With asphalt prices increasing each year, council members agreed that it made sense to put down a total of two inches on each of the 11 streets. The estimated cost is about $56,000. Bids will be opened at the next council meeting.

Streets to be resurfaced are: Friend Street, Hancock Street, alley between Friend and Hancock streets, Lynn Street, Gift Street, Summit Street, Firehouse Alley from Summit to gate, Wilson Avenue from Summit to Gift, Fair Avenue from Summit to Gift, Ohio Avenue from Summit to end and Cottage Avenue from Summit to end.

Police Chief Ed Arledge reminded residents to be patient during the heavy Sweet Corn Festival traffic. He asked drivers to use turn signals when approaching intersections where traffic is being directed by officersor deputies. That way, we know what you want to do and can help you do it, he said.

Later Arledge was pleased with a new police patch design that council member Dave Levacy distributed. The new design incorporates the American flag, a blue heron in flight, the lake, an anchor and the date the village was incorporated. “This is a plus,” Arledge said. The current patch built around a cob of corn isn’t popular with officersand draws mocking remarks. Council approved the new design.

Township resident Larry Neeley expressed some concerns about the new water treatment plant now being constructed. He is concerned about tank overflow pipes directing water onto his property. Village engineer Michael S. Carder of GGC Engineers told him that overflowswill be very rare and that some additional grading will be done to provide a berm between his property and the discharge pipes.

Neeley also expressed concern about excessive speed on Lancaster Street after a close call with a grandchild. He said 35 mph is too fast for anywhere on Lancaster Street and asked that cross walks be more clearly marked. “I concur,” Levacy said, adding that fivecitations and two warnings for speed were issued last Sunday. “Our intentions are to enforce the existing laws,” he explained. “We are going to aggressively do that.”

Village officials will consult with the Ohio Department of Transportation about lowering the speed on Lancaster Street to 25 mph earlier and how to make cross walks more noticeable.

Severance reminded council members that the dedication of the municipal building to long time village clerk/treasurer Madeline Utley will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 25. She recently retired after more than 40 years service to the village.

Council’s next regular meeting is set for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11 in the municipal building.

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