Augusta Commissioners say it’s what people have been talking about, whether to keep the adult nightclubs operating downtown.
“I’ve have received more correspondence and talked to more people about this. I represent the people of Augusta so my vote today is going to be no change to the ordinance,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
Commissioners voting unanimously to not allow the transfer of the clubs adult entertainment licenses to another owner, putting the clubs on the clock for eventually shutting down.
“The ordinance is there for a reason. I think we need to go, and the grandfather statute is going to run out when the time is up, so I think we need to stay with that,” says Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Real estate broker Joe Edge agreed. He led the fight against the license transfers, and applauded the commission’s decision to reject the proposal.
“It put an end in sight for the strip clubs for downtown at some point. They will go away now.” said Edge.
“Why is that good?”
“It’s good for lot reasons. There’s the moral aspect of it, there’s the development aspect of it,” said Edge.
Most of the public outcry was against allowing the clubs to continue but some did make the argument that if you don’t like what goes on there…just don’t go in.
“I’m all for that it is. What it is is the people have spoken and I listened to the people, so we’re going to do what the people want us to do,” said Clarke.
Defending its ordinance and talking on adult entertainment has proved to be costly in the past for Augusta.
Nearly nine years ago, the city paid the X-Mart more than a half a million dollars after shutting it down under using the adult entertainment ordinance. The video store remains in business today.