Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

March 5, 2014

Lewiston Village Board asked to override video gaming fee

Niagara Gazette — The owners of the Lewiston Recreation Center, formerly Frontier Lanes, want village trustees to reconsider a costly license.

Emery Simon and Harold Hibbard, co-owners of the business, approached the village board Monday looking to discuss overriding a fee in place on all video gaming machines within businesses.

“It’s a depressed business,” Simon said of the former bowling lanes the pair purchased last year. “We’re trying to revitalize it and bring it back. Something like this would really hurt us.”

Applied to all types of video gaming machines accessed through paying quarters, from arcade games to electronic dart boards, the village charges business owners $100 each year to keep the machines on site, along with a per-unit fee of $35 each year to operate.

Under normal circumstances, the pair said, it wouldn’t pose a problem. But for the center, located at 845 Cayuga St., Lewiston, much of the business is now relying on these machines. While most establishments have one or two, Simon said there’s 30 operational right now. And more are on the way.

Originally created as a means of keeping businesses from becoming hangouts for teenagers, Mayor Terry Collesano said the village will indeed look into the fees. He said an initial investigation actually revealed the village isn’t collecting the total it should.

Changes, if they do come, wouldn’t be complete until the village completes its budget, which is usually adopted in May.

“Let us look into this a little more,” Collesano told Simon. “We’re going into our budget deliberations soon. But we should have an answer for you maybe next month.”

In other village news, Collesano announced the board will be honoring DiMino Tops Lewiston at its next meeting, 6 p.m. Mach 17 at village hall, 145 N. Fourth St. The business is celebrating its 50th year in operation.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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