Okolona sets rules on topless clubs, others

By The Associated Press

OKOLONA — The city of Okolona has ended its 90-day moratorium on any clubs from locating within the city and has passed an ordinance allowing them in.

WTVA-TV reports that locating in the north Mississippi city comes with a price.

The ordinance adopted Tuesday requires applicants to pay a $1,000 non-refundable fee to the city for entertainment clubs and $1,500 for an adult club, which may consist of nudity or explicit material.

The new ordinance limits where the clubs can locate.

City attorney Gene Barton said the ordinance is very strict on what can occur and if certain violations occur the license will be suspended.

“If there’s a violation it’s a $1,000 fine and jail time (up to 90 days),” Barton said.

Along with the application fee future clubs must also submit names of security guards to the Okolona Police Department.

It would then be the police chief’s job to do background checks on each individual and then either deny or approve them for the job.

“The city reserves the right to deny any permit. On the regular club ordinance we’ve got requirements for security guards. Depending on how many people are going to be there, security guards have to be approved by the police chief,” Barton said.

Barton said entertainment clubs must also serve half alcohol and half food to operate in the city.

A Nettleton businessman last year asked for a permit to open a topless bar. That prompted the city to adopt the moratorium while the council determined how to regulate such clubs.

Rodney Shumpert has applied for a privilege license to open the Chocolate City Bar & Grill. He plans topless dancing, food and alcohol.

Shumpert has said Chocolate City would employ at least 12 people.