Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 9, 2013

Man expresses concerns over safety at club

Pittman asked board to approve ordinances and licensing fees for the establishment

DIX — — Citing safety concerns of employees at the Foxxxy Ladyz Adult World Club in Dix, local businessman Phil Pittman pleaded with the Dix Village Board  on Tuesday night to approve ordinances and licensing fees for the establishment.

Pittman pointed to a recent Register-News article that stated Foxxxy Ladyz was the site of a fight during the early morning hours of New Year’s day in which a Mt. Vernon man was arrested after he allegedly threw a chair at a 23-year-old female dancer at the club.

Elbert Washup, 40, was arrested shortly after the 3 a.m. incident on a charge of aggravated battery in a public place. Washup was identified by subjects involved in a fight outside the bar as the person responsible for the incident, according to earlier reports from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

“Two years ago we were here to see what we could do to keep this business out of town. Now we need your help to protect its workers,” Pittman told village board members. Pittman said he represented a group of about 20 to 30 local citizens, who have drafted plans to protect the workers.

“We’re proposing safety standards — starting with the ban of all glass liquor bottles,” Pittman said, as he distributed empty glass bottles to board members. The group is also proposing banning all folding lightweight chairs, installing safety rails around the stage, and having at least a 6-feet barrier from customers at all times in all rooms.

The group has also proposed having brighter lights around the stage at all times, to have one bouncer per every 10 patrons, and to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages after 2 a.m. The group also wants to “control underage patrons, underage drinking, and underage performers,” according to information distributed.

The citizens group maintains enforcement of these regulations could be carried out by off-duty police officers and/or firefighters, and/or having a new office established.

Financing for the proposals would be derived from fines and licensing fees. Pittman suggested a fine of $25 for glass bottles, a skin tax of $5 per person, the implementation of an entertainment licensing fee of $2,500 annually or a significant set amount, the implementation of a $500 fee per dancer before they are allowed to work and bouncers must pass a test knowing how to protect themselves and others receiving a license upon completion of the test after a $1,500 licensing fee is paid.

Board members took no action on Pittman’s proposal, although Village President Larry Mooney promised to place it on the agenda for next month’s meeting, following private consultation with village attorney David Leggans.

“I’m not here as a Bible thumper,” Pittman said. “I have three daughters, and in this day and age, they may turn into strippers. I’m asking the town to protect its workers so they can make a living. In my business, the safety of my people are first and foremost. Dix needs to look at this hard.”

Pat Burke was the only board member who interacted with Pittman, noting, “Nobody hates that place more than I do. I have to go by there everyday, but from their viewpoint, I don’t think we can tell them how to run their business. They’ll say, ‘...I’m not going to do it, and I’m not going to do it because there’s nothing to back it up.’ I think your point is valid and great, but how do we get clout?”

In other business, the board:

  • Approved an ordinance contract with Affordable Gas and Electric as its consultant for electric aggregation; and
  • Approved an ordinance authorizing the aggregation question to be placed on the April ballot.

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