New Policy Prompts 8-Liners to Apply for Permits

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SEBASTIAN – Officials in Willacy County have plenty of paperwork and research to complete.

Ten eight-liners applied by the Monday deadline for a permit under the new game room policy enacted in Willacy County.

For months, officials worked to figure out rules that could limit the spread of the businesses. 

In February, commissioners passed a permitting policy which took effect this week.

Under the rules, the Willacy County Sheriff's Office now has 10 days to review what has been filed.

Deputies must complete background checks on owners and operators.

Fire marshall's inspections and other inspections must be verified.

In Sebastian, the number of eight-liners has increased.

"I hope they weed them out," says Cheto Garcia, a Sebastian resident who lives near an eight-liner. "I can tolerate two or three but not within the residential area."

Garcia says several years ago the neighboring eight-liner was the nexus for a shooting.

He complains of traffic and noise, especially at night.

"No respect for the thoroughfare to speak of," he says 

Sheriff Larry Spence says some applicants did not file a fire marshall's inspection with their application. He says that may affect whether they're approved.

The permitting policy also gives the applicants the right to appeal any denial.


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