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The Common Council on Tuesday night removed what City Clerk Michael D. Cox described as "unfair anti-business fees" on amusement centers, including pool halls and bowling alleys.

In sponsoring an amendment to the city code, Cox said some license fees are so high that they discourage business operators.

The amendment eliminated $1,000-per-year license fees on amusement centers, defined as an establishment with five or more coin-operated games; a fee of $50 per game machine per year; a $5 fee for each pool table; and $2 per lane in bowling alleys.

Cox's amendment calls for a $25 fee in place of each of the eliminated costs. Exempted from fees are jukeboxes and other vending machines, as well as coin machines in private clubs.

In other matters, the Council adopted a law expanding the city's Cable Television Advisory Board to five members from the current three. Each alderman would nominate one member from his respective ward.

At the direction of Council President Catherine G. Schwandt, city department heads, Community Development Director Michele A. Tow and the Niagara County Legislature were asked to look into potential cost savings if North Tonawanda were to change its status from a city to either a village or town.

Some officials believe by changing its status, North Tonawanda would qualify for more aid from Niagara County. As a city, North Tonawanda does not qualify for some forms of county funding.

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