VLT supporters making headway in Rocky Mountain House

Petitioners pushing to have VLTs returned to Rocky Mountain House are poised to present their names to town council.

Petitioners pushing to have VLTs returned to Rocky Mountain House are poised to present their names to town council.

Jim Pogson, manager of Duffer’s Pub in Rocky, is leading the drive to have the machines installed. He said Thursday that he alone has gathered about 540 signatures.

“We hope to present the petition to council about the middle of the month,” Pogson said.

Council is scheduled to sit again on April 14.

When council received the information, it would then need to check the names and signatures, which would take some time.

A group of pub owners formed an association late last year and needs 723 names, which represents 10 per cent of the town’s population of 7,230.

This would be the second time in the last several months that petitioners have approached council.

Town officials rejected the bars’ first petition, declaring it invalid because of inconsistencies in names and questions on petition sheets.

However, Pogson said it’s being done right this time.

“We want to go in with a minimum of 850 (names),” he said.

“We’re being a lot more careful this time, checking who is signing the forms,” he added.

Only town residents who are older than 18 can sign.

Pogson said some Clearwater County residents who are customers of town taverns are upset they can’t sign.

“These people spend their money in town and work in town but can’t sign,” Pogson said.

He also said business has dropped about 30 per cent from the same period last year and taverns need to attract customers.

He said many people go to nearby communities of Leslieville and Caroline to play VLTs.

The machines were forbidden from town about 12 years ago after a plebiscite. Two-thirds of the 1,600 people who voted opted to turn the machines off.

The Rocky ministerial association, which is opposed to the machines, said it will debate the faults of VLTs if and when voters are asked to decide.

The association also lobbied against the machines in 1997.

Establishments with VLTs receive 15 per cent of net sales.

Even if voters want them reintroduced, there’s a three-year waiting period for installation, says the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read