Despite several people voicing opposition, the Greenville City Council unanimously approved the creation of a new liquor license and issued two at a special meeting Monday night.
The council previously received requests from CC Food Mart and Moto Mart for pour liquor licenses which would allow them to have video gaming.
City Manager Dave Willey said it was easier to write the license to fit the intended purpose. It is similar to others as it allows two drinks every six hours and has the same restrictions on package sales.
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Half of the 8 citizens making comments were Greenville ministers.
First Baptist Church Pastor David Bilyeu addressed the council and expressed his opposition to expanding gaming. He said he admired their work to improve the local economy and sources of revenue, but as a spiritual leader in the community he is strongly opposed to the gaming parlors. He said he’d like to send a message that Greenville should remain a wholesome, family friendly community.
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Several had the argument that gaming tempts those at the poverty level to spend their money.
City Attorney Patrick Schaufelberger said legal ramifications of the city adding licenses and gaming facilities fall to the licensee.
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Councilman John Gillard said he is opposed to gaming. He and Councilman Mike Heath expressed the desire to keep current businesses, who provide jobs, healthy.
The council recently turned down a gaming café. Heath said he doesn’t believe a gaming parlor adds anything, and just sucks money out of the community.
After a lengthy meeting on the topic, the council voted 5 to 0 to create a Class L pour liquor license classification for service stations/convenience stores, made two licenses available, and then issued them to CC Food Mart and Moto Mart.