Naperville City Council members voted Tuesday to do away with fees charged to businesses with coin-operated games and vending machines.
The vote was unanimous, and will end the need for businesses to obtain a permit and pay annual fees to keep devices such as dart boards and bar-top video games.
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"I'm struggling to find a reason, other than pure revenue generation, why we need to license these devices," said Councilman Bob Fieseler.
City Records Specialist Lynn Zilinsky said the fee generated about $24,100 last year, and would have increased to $44,900 if the council had approved a proposal to create a new category of permits for video vending kiosks operated by Redbox and Blockbuster. Fees for establishments with pool tables also would have increased to $50 from $25. Bowling alley fees would have gone up from $10 to $20 per lane.
Zilinsky, though, didn't know why the city created the fees in the first place.
"Honestly, I don't know why we license them," she said. "I've researched back to 1926, and I could not come up with a reason as to why this ordinance was put into place."
That was all Councilman Grant Wehrli needed to hear.
"I don't understand why we're doing this in the first place," he said. "Obviously there's no record of it."
City Manager Doug Krieger said elimination of the fees could lead to efficiencies in the clerk's office and code inspection department, because the licensing and enforcement responsibilities would be removed.