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Adult shops concern Peabody

Staff writer

A request to allow adult entertainment shops in Peabody brought 40 residents to voice their concerns at Monday’s city council meeting.

Mayor Larry Larsen laid out presentation rules that set the tone for the meeting.

After preliminary actions, Peabody resident Terry Tucker, who owns an online adult entertainment referral service, addressed the council asking if someone acting as an escort would need to have a license and if the city had any restrictions on this type of business.

County attorney Rob Lane said no license is necessary, and at this time, there is no ordinance that specifically addresses the issue.

On completion of her inquiry, community members asked many questions regarding the nature of the businesses she was proposing to bring to their town.

Tucker said shops she was proposing to bring to Peabody would include adult entertainment, escort services, topless dancing and a pop bar — which is a bar that does not serve alcohol and features nude dancing.

Army combat veteran and Newton police sergeant Michael Stinger said he has much experience dealing with these types of businesses and many objections.

They included the possibility of additional police services needed, human trafficking, and identity theft.

“We have a deep-rooted moral compass here in Peabody and we don’t want that kind of business here,” he said. “We are sitting ducks for people like this.”

Another resident brought up city regulations that set distances for certain types of businesses in relation to schools and churches. She was concerned about the Hub, a place where her kids hang out, being in close proximity to the proposed shops.

Many residents were concerned about possible negative consequences for people wanting to move to Peabody. The community has been working to entice people and businesses to Peabody but objectors think the shops would put people off.

Council members and the city attorney advised Tucker to research for regulations and licensing with her attorney, then come back to council for discussion.

Council member Travis Wilson moved to not pay a Marion County Community Economic Development Corp. for the first half of 2018 and not fund the group for the end of 2018 and all of 2019.

The vote was three to one not to pay, with councilman Tom Spencer opposed. Spencer said he believed the council should pay a commitment made.

Peabody-Burns student and city resident Madelynn Blythe explained her Girl Scout Take Action project.

She would like to provide three plastic trash bins for recycling — two for events at the high school and one for community events.

“If the city has a big event, you can use the school containers too,” Madelynn said. “I hope to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Bins were purchased by the organization so there would be no cost to the city.

Larsen applauded Madelynn for her willingness to complete the project on her own initiative. Her request was granted.

Council members declined to grant any further time extensions to Marty Stevenson, 407 N. Plum, who is under order to bring his property up to city code.

Following procedure, council did not give Stevenson another extension.

Fall cleanup will begin Oct. 14 with items being placed on the curb and pickup will be Oct. 20.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2018

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