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Strip Club In The Works In Gadsden County?

By: Julie Montanaro, James Buechele Email
By: Julie Montanaro, James Buechele Email
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UPDATE 11:15 p.m. 7-11-13

Midway, Fla.

"If you want that kind of juke joint, have it in Leon County," said one Midway resident about a proposed strip club selling alcohol in the town.

Shouts of 'amen' we're hear shortly after and throughout the evening.

The Midway city council chambers barely had enough room to fit residents speaking out against the sale of alcohol at a proposed strip club at the 10-90 Industrial Park.

Everyone from teachers to preachers spoke out against what they see as an eye sore.

"It's not just the strip club that's the problem," said pastor Doug Stephens. "It's the combination with the liquor that brings both the combustibility and a tragedy that would come to our community.

Strip clubs are currently allowed under city law. Attorney for the proposed strip club, Christopher O'Neal says his clients are looking just to approve the sale of alcohol.

"All this does is to ask the city commission to allow ,if it were to approve any of [adult entertainment clubs], alcohol to be served," said O'Neal at the meeting.

But residents that spoke up Thursday night say it's not just about the community and the future of their children; it's about making sure businesses come and stay in the area.

"And [businesses are] telling me that they're going to leave if an establishment of this nature comes down in the 10-90," said Eugene Lamb.

There will be one more public hearing regarding the ordinance. That will be during the regular city council meeting Thursday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. Council members will then vote on whether to allow the sale of alcohol.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
July 11, 2013

Folks will have their first chance to weigh in on plans for a strip club in Midway.

The city council is holding a public hearing tonight.

A group trying to open an adult entertainment center in the 10-90 Industrial Park has asked the city to change its rules to allow alcohol to be served there.

Right now, adult entertainment establishments are okay under city law, but selling alcohol at them is not.

An attorney for the club spoke for the first time today.

"We've got a revenue stream that's going to be taxable which is unlike some of the businesses in that area, so I think it's a win win situation," Christopher O'Neal said. "As for citizenry, obviously that freedom of expression is freedom of choice and the freedom not to attend."

O'Neal would not release any details about how big the club will be, how many people it will employ or who the owners and investors are. He says that will all be in the application should the city change its rules.

The public hearing began tonight at 7pm at Midway City Hall.

We'll have coverage tonight at 11.


By Julie Montanaro
June 13, 2013

Midway, Florida- A strip club could soon be coming to Gadsden County and it could all come down to a vote by the Midway City Council later this summer.

10/90 Commerce Park in Midway could soon be home to an adult entertainment center.

The city council has been asked to revise its rules and allow the club to serve alcohol.

"I think they should serve alcohol as long as they have an I.D. on them and make sure it's legit. Maybe some security guards just in case people and alcohol doesn't mix, so I think it'll be a cool idea," Jessica Pope said.

"I'm kind of against it you know what I'm saying," Adrienna Robinson said. "There's enough alcohol going on for you to put more out there because as far as it being a gentelman's club, it's only going to draw attention to females."

Midway's City Administrator points out, strip clubs are already permitted within the city limits.

"We have an ordinance on the books that allows adult entertainment. The only caveat is they want to serve alcohol and the ordinance doesn't allow them to serve alcohol so that's why they approached the city to see if the city will amend that ordinance to allow them to serve alcohol at this facility," Midway City Manager Auburn Ford said.

The Midway City Council has decided to put the issue on its upcoming agenda. It will host public hearings in July and August before taking a vote.

The public hearings are set for July 11th and August first.

The Tallahassee businessman who pitched the change before the city council told us he is no longer affiliated with the group. He referred us to the group's attorney. We are waiting to hear back from him.

It's been 20 years since anyone tried to open a strip club in our area.

One opened its doors in Tallahassee back in 1993. It avoided the city's topless dancing ban, by offering "bottomless" dancing instead, but employees were ultimately arrested for violating a county ordnance on nude entertainment. The club closed a few days later.


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