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City Advised to Retain Fee on Video Machines

February 14, 1985

Glendale City Manager James M. Rez has recommended that the city retain its video machine license fees despite complaints from arcade operators that the fees are too high.

In a report accepted by the City Council on Tuesday, Rez concluded that restrictions on video arcades and high license fees have significantly reduced problems of loitering, truancy and rowdiness.

Norman R. Jones, who owns two arcades, had complained that the $50 per machine fee charged by the city is discriminatory and far exceeds fees charged other businesses.

Jones had asked the City Council to reduce the annual fees, which were due Feb. 10, because business has dropped dramatically in the past year and the high fees are forcing operators out of business.

However, Rez concluded that the ordinance, which was adopted in 1982, "has been effective in achieving its purpose." In addition to the fees, the ordinance restricts the operation of arcades and video machines.

Rez said that police reported no major incidents at video arcades during 1984 and that there were fewer minor problems than in previous years. However, he said police still receive complaints about loud noise, drinking, littering of beer cans, late hours and fighting at or near the arcades.

Rez also said the $34,200 in revenue the city received last year from licenses for 506 video games "does not pay for the man-hours expended" by the Police Department to patrol and inspect 89 businesses that have the machines.

Jones, who is an attorney, said last week that he may sue the city if it does not lower arcade fees.

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