Keno approved at Stone Crest

Prestonsburg City Council members Harry Adams, Shag Branham, BD Nunnery and Don Willis, Mayor Les Stapleton, and council members Brittainy Branham, Josh Turner and Rick Hughes are pictured during Monday’s meeting of the council. Council member David Gearheart did not attend the meeting.

The Prestonsburg City Council approved another potential source of revenue for StoneCrest Golf Course this week.

During a meeting Monday, the council approved a proposal presented by Kentucky Lottery Eastern Regional Sales Manager Wes Hardin to place a Keno machine at the golf course. The council’s vote was unanimous, with Mayor Les Stapleton reporting that the city’s parks commission must also approve the measure. 

“I’m sure there’s never any gambling that goes on at a golf course, but the lottery would like to put a machine in up there,” Stapleton said. 

Hardin said having a Keno at Stonecrest could increase revenue, reporting that having a Keno machine increases food and drink sales by 17 percent, on average, nationally.

“It’s basically, the customers go up and put their money in it. We have the TVs up, and they can sit there and socialize and watch the TV,” Hardin said. 

He reported that there was between $3,000 and $5,000 in sales a week on Keno machines installed in bars in Maysville.  

Hardin said the city will be required to pay a $250 licensing fee, but the Kentucky Lottery will refund the city $200 within two weeks after it is installed.

Answering questions from Council Member Harry Adams, Hardin said the city can pull the Keno machine out if officials decide not to use it in the future. 

In other news, the council also addressed concerns from a North Arnold Avenue resident who complained about empty homes and businesses in town. 

Stapleton told him improvements have been made with that issue, saying the urgent care center being built by Pikeville Medical Center on South Lake Drive is bringing in other businesses.

Council Member Shag Branham encouraged the resident to get three people to sign a letter asking the city code enforcement officer to review abandoned residences he complained about. He said if the homes are dangerous, the city can demolish them.

“I’ve done this, under the previous administration,” Branham said. “It didn’t work, but we have an administration that will make it work.” 

Stapleton reported that Prestonsburg has demolished two homes in the city through code enforcement. 

“The whole deal is, we’ve got to have people complain about it,” he said. 

The council approved paying $55,300 in general fund bills at the meeting and a $500,000 line of credit for the Prestonsburg City Utilities Commission, with Stapleton saying that PCUC wants the line of credit “just in case” of an emergency.

About half of the meeting was spent in closed session, which came at request of Adams and Stapleton.

“I don’t know what the cure is. I know what the problem is,” Adams said, prompting Stapleton to ask whether he wanted to discuss the issue in closed session.

Stapleton reported that the closed session discussion had to do with a business that will be affected if it information about the proposal was revealed before “we was able to at least enter into negotiations on it.” 

“It could be very detrimental,” he said. 

Upon return, the council voted to give Stapleton authority to enter into negotiations “with all entities involved” regarding a business proposal, to negotiate with state agencies that would be “intervening in this negotiation process,” and, once and agreement is reached, for Stapleton to bring the proposal before the council. 

Stapleton said a public hearing would be scheduled in about two weeks. 

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