Rowland backs off gaming fee

By: Tomeka Sinclair - Staff writer

ROWLAND — The Rowland Board of Commissioners rescinded on Tuesday a previously approved electronic gaming policy that levied a business fee on the machines.

The commissioners approved an updated draft of a gaming machine policy during a workshop on April 25. The draft prohibited businesses from operating gaming machines without paying an annual $600 registration fee and a $50 application fee. The policy also included guidelines on the location of the machines, rules for operation and penalties.

The deadline to register machines would be June 1, leaving less than a month for businesses to register.

Town Clerk David Townsend suggested that board members retract their approval because some of the policy’s language was unclear. Townsend said he will sit down with the town attorney to clarify the language.

“We will table this matter with the intent that we move forward,” Townsend said.

The commissioners also heard a complaint from a frustrated resident about an abandoned house.

Alice Rice said she wants to purchase a neighboring house on Railroad Street that is abandoned and dilapidated. Rice said she was able to contact one of the owners and not the other, leaving her at a standstill. The house is behind on taxes, which is why she is seeking the town’s help, she said.

“We are aware that this is a problem within our town,” Mayor Michelle Shooter said about abandoned buildings.

Shooter said the town is unable to do anything until the county provides a list of the properties so the town can distinguish those with delinquent taxes.

“Unfortunately, Rowland is at the bottom of that list,” Shooter said.

Also at the meeting,

— The commissioners approved May 23, May 30, June 12 and June 27 as dates for discussion of the fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

— The commissioners were reminded that they must participate in a mandatory ethics training course on May 23.

— Anne Thompson-Ellerbe, a librarian at Donald A. Bonner Rowland Library, said the library will have more programs and activities in the future. Thompson-Ellerbe will be attaching library’s newsletters to the board’s agenda packets each month.


Tomeka Sinclair

Staff writer

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at 910-416-5865 or at [email protected]

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at 910-416-5865 or at [email protected]