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Monday, May 2, 2016

City considers lowering arcade game license fee

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Murphy Building, 16 E. National Ave., may soon be home to a video game arcade.

Clark Merkel, the building's owner asked the City Council on Tuesday night to reduce its current $100 per game fee for arcade and video games. Merkel wants to open a "family recreation-style center."

While Brazil charges $100 for game licenses, Terre Haute charges $25 and Cloverdale charges $50.

"The current fee would cost me over $2,000 per year," Merkel told the council.

Mayor Tom Arthur agreed with Merkel's research, saying he had sought information through the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns on the Internet.

"The $100 fee passed in 1985 does seem excessive," Arthur said.

When Merkel suggested there might be a reason for the excessive fee, Councilman Bill Lovett explained the council's reasoning.

"The fee was ... to discourage video games," Lovett said.

It was believed in the 1980s that parents didn't have the money to give their children for video games and the council was not comfortable with the types of games that might be installed, Lovett said.

The mayor offered to have an amended ordinance prepared to lower the $100 license fee.

Merkel also said Wal-Mart and other businesses have arcade-type games, but are not subject to the city fee because they are outside the city limits.

The City Council's next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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