JERSEYVILLE - The Jerseyville City Council denied an application to rezone 935 South State Street at their meeting last Tuesday. This is Unit 140 of the Jerseyville Mall, the former location of Security Finance between Dollar General and Big Boy’s Donuts. The applicant, Cindy Brown Kolb, sought to re-zone the location from B-3 to B-3 with Special Use for Alcohol, with the intended use as a café and lunch restaurant with alcohol and video gaming machines.

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The Planning & Zoning Board did not recommend the application’s approval to the City Council because the establishment had not met city ordinances regarding the percentage of sales-to-food ratio and amount of space available at the location. Essentially, the concern from the city was that the business would appear more like a gaming business with a café attached, rather than the other way around, which led to a response from Brown Kolb herself.

“It’s not the intent to just be gaming. We do intend to have an actual café there, we’re going to serve wine coolers and beer, and we’ve done our research,” she said. “We know that you say gaming can’t be the main source of income, but in a lot of establishments in Jerseyville, it is the main source of income. The donut shop, for instance, they’re over $115,000 in gaming revenue right now.”

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According to the Illinois Gaming Board’s Video Gaming Revenue Reports, Big Boy’s Donuts (under their corporate name, “B&B 1995 Inc.”) generated $101,063.00 in gross Video Gaming Terminal income in October 2022 (the most recent data available), but after paying out winnings of $70,590.94 to players, only made $30,472.06 in net terminal income.

“We truly think, given the opportunity, we too could bring a big source of revenue to the City of Jerseyville,” she continued. “As for the worry about us hurting his gaming establishment, we have data on gaming establishments where there’s lots of them side by side, and all they do is feed off of one another and it just ends in more money for the town and the owners.”

This led to more discussion amongst the City Council during which concerns were raised about limiting the number of gaming establishments in Jerseyville, as the council decided long ago it did not want a gaming parlor or anything similar in the community, and some members were worried allowing multiple gaming establishments next to each other might lead down that path.

One council member suggested she open the business as a café/restaurant only for now, as is permitted under the location’s current zoning, then come back to the council in six months with another application to amend the location’s zoning once the business has established a primary source of income other than gaming. Ultimately, the council voted to follow the Planning & Zoning Board’s recommendation to deny her application.

Additionally, the City Council awarded a bid for the 2022 Tree Removal and Trimming Program to Gound Outdoor Management, who also won the bidding for the past two years.

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