Robinson's newest gaming parlor may have the city's permission to stay open on Sundays.
The Robinson City Council Tuesday agreed to develop a new ordinance to allow Lacey's Place on East Main to open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Sundays so the owner can keep up with financial demands.
The ordinance will also apply to other gaming parlors in the city.
Owner Jeff Rehberger said he was stunned to see that the machines wouldn't turn on every Sunday since they opened. Before he brought his business to Robinson, he has noticed another local gaming parlor was open and assumed he could open on Sundays.
While he understands the city allows only a few businesses, namely restaurants, to sell beer and wine on Sundays, Rehberger said it would be best for his business to open on Sundays to keep up with rent and support the $60-70,000 invested in the gaming parlor.
He added Lacey's doesn't make much money selling beer - only about $50 per week.
Mayor Roger Pethtel said that this would require an ordinance change in the city's code.
"There would need to be a change to allow ordinance for gaming parlors to open Sundays and sell beer," Pethtel said. "Right now, only E-1 and 2 licenses for restaurants allow only selling of beer and wine on Sundays."
City Attorney Frank Weber agreed it would take a special kind of license to make this change and said he would draft one. The ordinance is expected to be acted on at the Aug. 22 council meeting.
In other business, the council called for bids for construction work in the south end of the city.
City Engineer Jeff Hillard said work is needed from Mulberry Street about 700 feet to the Indiana Rail Road tracks. In the past, the north side of that location has been repaired, but Hillard said that was only half the job.
Bids for the project need to be turned into city hall by 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
The council also agreed to purchase a free motion treadmill for the Depot fitness center from Advanced Fitness Solutions for $4,551.83.
Another budgeted item was approved for the parks department.
A frisbee golf course will be constructed at Washington Park by HEA Golf for $3,978.54. The proposal was made by Superintendent Mike Shimer.
The new course will debut next spring.
Also, Shimer told the council that the pool staff completed a budgeted construction project Tuesday. The staff and a trio of supervisors completed a new pavilion near the south end of the pool, which will be used for meetings and parties.
"The kids did a nice job and were supervised by Bruce Knight, Gordon Pinkston and Alex Weber," Shimer said. "It may open Friday or Saturday for those activities."
Shimer also announced that Saturday will be Marathon's free swim day from 12:30 to 6:45 p.m. Free hot dogs will be sold until they run out.
With school starting next week, the pool will no longer be open on weekdays after Thursday, Aug. 17. From that point, the pool will only be open Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day from 12:30 to 6 p.m.
Marathon Petroleum's request for a brine water permit was approved Tuesday. Under this permit the city will agree to obtain some of the refinery's brine water. The council also approved a total suspended solids variance to Marathon.
Lincoln Trail College President Ryan Gower is the newest member of the Robinson Police Commission Board as of Tuesday. Pethtel said Gower, who's family is originally from Robinson, is seeking to become a bigger part of the community.
Two other items were tabled Tuesday, including one that will be continued during a brief meeting at 10 a.m. Friday.
The council was under the impression that the parks department would approve a bid for lights and a new fence at the Washington Park tennis courts, but Alderman Rick Lowe said that was not the case.
"It's not really a bid. We went out to see what the prices were for both and see what should come next," Lowe explained.
Shimer said the cost for the fencing will be $12,808, while the electrical replacements will cost $26,801. Before deciding on whether to pursue those bids and the other repairs, Shimer said it would be best to wait and meet with the tennis program, who has been seeking funding from local organizations.
City Treasurer Denise Jobe said she has received $55,600 in donations from United Way, Robinson Unit 2 schools and the city. Another $10,000 from United Way is expected to be received soon.
The council agreed to continue discussing this issue at Friday's meeting, where they are expected to decide on a bid from Ambraw Asphalt.
New lights are needed outside city hall and the courthouse square, but the estimated price of $86,800 is too much for the council to consider right now, it was said.
All aldermen were in agreement that the lights need replaced, but concerns about how to pay for it - through TIF grants and other means - convinced the council to hold off until members have a better grasp of the situation.