Wood County OKs video lottery machines

PARKERSBURG – On a 2-1 vote Monday, Wood County commissioners approved placement of video lottery machines in Haggard’s Bar & Grill in Mineral Wells.

During an earlier meeting, Dan and Donna Daley, who lease the property from a rental company, appealed the denial of the machines installation.

John Reed, county compliance and building permit officer, said there were a number of residences within 1,000 feet of the business. The county video lottery ordinance does not allow placement of video lottery machines within 1,000 feet of highways, schools, churches, residences and other structures.

Commission President Wayne Dunn told the Daleys during the earlier meeting, if they could produce statements from the neighbors saying they were not opposed to the video lottery machines, he would be in favor of granting the appeal and allowing the machines.

The matter had been continued to Monday.

Daley handed over papers with six residents’ signatures saying they did not object to placement of the machines.

“The compliance officer determined there are 30 residences within the 1,000 foot radius covered by the ordinance. We were told one of the property owners was not available and another signature is from someone who isn’t the property owner,” said Commissioner Blair Couch.

Couch cast the lone no vote to allowing the machines.

“I have a tough time allowing expansion of gambling in Wood County. I have always voted against the machines,” he said. “The neighbors who don’t have a problem with it may not be living there in the future and we don’t know how others might feel about it, so I’m voting no,” he said.

Dunn and Commissioner Steve Gainer voted in the affirmative.

“There was public notice, if anyone had any dissent, but we didn’t hear from anyone,” Dunn said.

Daley told the commissioners those he had talked with were OK with the machines.

“We really need them to be able to survive. A lot of the neighbors are our customers. We have had people come in and leave because we didn’t have the machines,” Dan Daley told the commissioners on Monday.