By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
At the 9 a.m. public hearing on the Internet café question, Commissioners discussed the ordinance before them that would regulate such businesses in unincorporated parts of the county and include application fees of $2500 for up to 20 machines, and $5000 for 21 to 40 machines.
Questions from citizens included whether or not there were adequate safeguards to keep minors away from the simulated gaming devices, and a statement from Sheriff Ben Stewart protesting the ordinance caused the board to re-agenda the issue. It will be either the next regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 19, or the first meeting in October (Oct. 3). Another public hearing will be scheduled for either of those two dates, and will be advertised to the public.
At that time, the commissioners will consider both an ordinance to allow, but regulate the businesses in unincorporated Madison County, and another to ban such businesses outright.
Neither ordinance will affect Internet cafés already operating within the county’s three incorporated municipalities.