Hubbard officials seek to regulate Internet cafes

By Robert Guttersohn


The city council is looking to regulate Internet caf s before the first one opens its doors.

On Tuesday, city lawmakers read for the first time the proposed zoning ordinance that would cap the maximum number of caf s allowed within the city at five.

Councilwoman Bonnie Viele, D-3rd, chairwoman of the zoning commission that worked on the ordinance for six weeks, said commission members fashioned it after cities with pre-existing regulations.

The ordinance must pass the next two readings to become law.

It would also demand that the caf s are 2,500 feet apart from one another and would allow no more than 100 sweepstakes machines in each building. Also, the city would charge the caf $100 per machine each year.

Caf s that have between six and 49 machines would pay a yearly licensing fee of $3,000, and those that have more than 50 would pay $5,000.

Although there are no official permits filed for caf s yet within Hubbard, Viele said “there are interested parties.”

Also at the meeting, the council approved, in a 7-0 vote, to reallocate about $80,000 from the capital-improvement fund to the general fund to chip away at its $135,000 deficit in the 2012 budget, which is due at the end of March. The move still leaves the general fund $58,000 in the red. Councilman Dan O’Hara was not present at the meeting.

Council will meet for a work session at 6 p.m. Monday to discuss from where in the budget to pull the additional money.

Police Chief James Taafe addressed the two recent daytime burglary attempts within one week. In both cases, he said, the victims were home at the time of the break-in.

“I just want people to know that the police are on top of this,” he added.

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