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Mount Vernon Council Divided Over Arcade Location

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Two members of the Mount Vernon City Council agree that more entertainment venues are needed in Mount Vernon, but they differ on where.

The debate arose last week at a City Council meeting where the merits of putting an arcade in an empty space at 128 Gramatan Ave. were discussed. A week later, City Council President Roberta Apuzzo maintains her position that the proposed downtown location is not appropriate.

“I would have to see and know what they wanted to put into that space,” Apuzzo said. “So many of the machines they want to put in are archaic. We need to look at shooting games and anything violent. We know kids love that stuff, but we need to take a careful, realistic look about what we put into our community for fun.”

Councilman Richard Thomas said he supports any small business that wants to open in Mount Vernon and that he wants to see the storefronts filled with productive and contributing business owners. Thomas said the City Council should support putting an arcade in the proposed location on Gramatan Avenue.

“I don’t know the full concern about this location,” Thomas said. “We are trying to get kids off the streets and have something to do. That’s what this business is designed for.”

Councilwoman Karen Watts-Yehudah said at the council meeting last week that when her kids were younger she had to take them outside of Mount Vernon for entertainment. Though she wants to bring an arcade to the city, Watts-Yehudah is not sure about the location.

“A lot of people have to take their kids outside of Mount Vernon for birthday parties because we don’t have a Chuck E. Cheese or a Dave and Buster’s,” Watts-Yehudah said at the meeting. “Generally speaking, we have to create some type of legislation to have this kind of business in the city.”

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