Danville City Council unanimously shot down a request Thursday night for a special-use permit that would have allowed up to four gaming machines at the Pilot convenience store at 110 Riverpoint Drive.

Councilmen had concerns about underage customers being able to play the games and that there would be no monitoring of who would play.

Councilman Gary Miller said the games would make the store a target for criminals.

This past summer, zoning inspectors shut down dozens of machines — mostly at convenience stores — after an anonymous complaint pointed out many of the indoor games were not allowed by city zoning ordinances, which could be a misdemeanor.

“If I were of the criminal persuasion, I would think it would be an inviting target to knock off one of these places,” Miller said.

Before the vote to deny, Councilman Larry Campbell said he had concerns about the gaming machines and made a motion to table the matter, but that motion failed by a 5-4 vote.

Councilman Fred Shanks had made the substitute motion to deny the request before the vote whether to table the issue. The motion to deny passed 9-0.

In another matter, Averett University and General Aviation will partner together to manage Danville Regional Airport.

Danville City Council unanimously voted to pick the two parties to run the airport during its meeting Thursday night.

“I’m strongly in support of this,” said Vice Mayor Lee Vogler, calling General Aviation a great local business that has served the community for many decades.

The partnership between General Aviation and Averett will last through June 30, 2021. After that, Averett will take over as the sole operator of the airport. The contract will be for five years with options to renew three more times for five years each.

Council had tabled the question in August as to whether to approve a 10-year lease contract with Lexington, North Carolina-based Fly High Inc. to become the next fixed-base operator at Danville Regional Airport. That decision came after so many people spoke during a public hearing in favor of General Aviation and Averett.

John R. Crane can be reached at (434) 791-7987.

Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.

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