Business

Upthegrove bill aimed at assisting Kent-based business from closing down

State Rep. Dave Upthegrove is a Democrat from Des Moines. - Courtesy photo, not for sale
State Rep. Dave Upthegrove is a Democrat from Des Moines.
— image credit: Courtesy photo, not for sale

State Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D – Des Moines) has stepped in to assist a Kent-based business from closing down. The Sidetrack Pub and Eatery has long had a card-room license, but Kent has a ban on card rooms within its city limits.
“This is a case where the business was located in an area recently annexed by the city,” Upthegrove said. “The owner wanted to be in compliance with the law, but doing so could have meant shutting down. I felt it was important, especially in this economy, to support our locally owned businesses and the people they employ.”
A bill that passed the Legislature last year grandfathered in a casino that was located within the newly annexed area, but that law was drafted so narrowly that it did not apply to non-house-banked card rooms like the one at the Sidetrack Pub and Eatery. Upthegrove sponsored a bill to resolve the issue, and today the measure passed the House.
Chris Etheridge, owner of the Sidetrack Pub and Eatery, was grateful to hear of the bill’s near-unanimous passage.
“In difficult economic times like these, where there is so much dissatisfaction with government, it’s very gratifying to see that government is still responsive to our needs,” Etheridge said.  “A special thanks to Rep. Upthegrove for bringing this bill forward.”
The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

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