The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Carthage, Jasper County

May 7, 2009

License under review for ‘gym’ adjacent to Vegas Video

By Susan Redden

sredden@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Jasper County is looking at a license application for a business adjacent to an adult-video store, but it has not issued approval for the operation, officials said Thursday.

A representative of the county Health Department said workers inspected the proposed business after a license application was submitted for a business called Temptations. It would operate in space adjacent to Vegas Video, which is off Interstate 44 between Joplin and Sarcoxie.

Residents in the area have organized to protest the sexually oriented business and any expansion of the operation. Members of the group told the county commissioners that they had heard that a men’s fitness club was planned for the site. Tony Moehr, county Health Department director, told the commissioners that a worker from his office inspected the site, and found “a small gym area with some equipment, two hot tubs and eight sleeping rooms.”

“We’re looking at what regulations might be entailed from a health perspective,” he said.

Nature of business

Bill Fleischaker, attorney for the owner of Vegas Video, said he believes the purpose of the county business license “is to ensure that county taxes are paid, and not to rule on the nature of the business.”

“Beyond that, I don’t have anything to say because they haven’t acted yet,” he said.

John Bartosh, presiding commissioner, said health and fire inspections were done at Temptations after a worker tried to renew a business license for the operation.

Licenses are issued by the collector’s office. Steve Holt, county collector, said Temptations could not renew its license because it had never received one initially. He said the operation had proposed opening a bar under that name, then the commissioners adopted requirements for inspections and more information before licensing, amid neighborhood protests surrounding businesses proposed at the site.

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Carthage, Jasper County