Fulton city hall

FULTON, Ill. — In an effort to stem the expansion of video gaming, the City of Fulton will decrease the number of Class A liquor licenses by one if a downtown business surrenders its license.

The Fulton City Council last week voted 6-1 to approve a motion to reduce the number of Class A liquor licenses if the Paddlewheel/Large One’s surrenders its license. Aldermen Margaret Crosthwaite, Keith King, Barb Mask, Dan Nederhoff, Sue Van Kampen and Mike Van Zuiden voted in favor of the motion. Eugene Field voted against the motion. Alderman Paul Banker was absent.

Fulton City Administrator Randy Boonstra said the reason the city limits liquor licenses is because if the city has an extra liquor license the city cannot deny someone coming into the community to set up video gaming. He added the council’s intent over the last several years is to not have extra licenses, adding the city makes them available as different businesses approach the council.

“The Class A (liquor license) that Paddlewheel has if they turn that in...that would give us one extra Class A that someone could come in and apply for and we couldn’t deny it just because they were doing video gaming,” Boonstra said. “So the way you control video gaming now in the state of Illinois is by the number of liquor licenses that you have available. Because the video gaming goes with the liquor license.”

City officials said last month that the Paddlewheel/Large One’s was not open, but clarified that the city did not officially know if it was closing.

The City Council last month approved an ordinance amending the number of Class C liquor licenses from one to two due to the request of a new restaurant. Information provided by the city said Jesus Luna is planning to lease the south portion of the Fulton Crossings building and open a full-service Mexican restaurant.