After-Hours Ordinance Passes in Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council unanimously passed an after-hours ordinance Monday night. The ordinance revolves around the safety of businesses that are open between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 4 a.m.
After-hours businesses will be required to immediately consent to fire inspection, adhere to requirements of a facility fire code established by the city, notify the police if alcohol or drugs are on the premises, and require permanent lighting outside businesses.
City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus said he believes that the ordinance will help with the overall safety of early-morning activity because there have been approximately 50 police-related incidents at Club Motivation alone between August 2011 and February 2012.
"Two problems, a lot of problems at the club-- fights, disturbances, underage drinking, drug use, just kind of the whole gamut," Nickolaus said. "When we respond to those incidents, we have to bring a much larger number of officers than we would to an ordinary incident because of the massive number of people that are at those events."
This ordinance only impacts one business in Jefferson City which made Club Motivation's attorney Samuel Trapp think that the ordinance may be targeting Club Motivation.
"They [Club Motivation] would like to work in more of a cooperation instead of confrontational environment. Unfortunately, they feel like it's a confrontational atmosphere," Trapp said. "They're very concerned that the [Jefferson City Police Department's] target is, 'let's take out this business.' If that's what you're going to do, then you ought to come out of the bushes and say so."
Attorney Samuel Trapp said this ordinance will not impact Club Motivation's business because it is following most of the rules established already. He also noted that only seven or eight of the police incidents occurred because of requests for the police from the owner, asking them to attend to an issue at the venue.
Trapp said Club Motivation intends to fully comply with the new ordinance to the extent that it's possible.
"I'm hoping for the future not that they [Jefferson City Police] leave them [Club Motivation] alone, that they work in cooperation together. They're interested in cooperating," Trapp said.