Strip club, tattoo laws considered in Stone County

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Regulating strip clubs and tattoo shops is an issue getting attention in Stone County. County supervisors held a public hearing Monday morning on an adult entertainment ordinance.

You don't normally associate such adult businesses with Stone County.  In this case, regulating strip clubs is purely a proactive move, while the tattoo regulations are the result of a new business about to open.

Only one citizen spoke at the public hearing and he's the pastor of the supervisor who proposed the regulations.

"And looking out not only for what's going on in the county today, but looking toward the future and being proactive on what we want Stone County to be for our children and grandchildren in years to come. And I just want to thank you for doing what you're doing," John Bullen told the board.

Supervisors recognize the importance of family and faith in their small town community. They said the vast majority of residents favor the new law.

"Everybody's been just totally supportive of it," District 1 Supervisor Clark Byrd said. "Just very positive, very supportive of us. Glad that we were doing this and that we're trying to protect the community and our way of life up here."

While the county made a preemptive strike against any strip clubs that might consider opening, the City of Wiggins recently wrestled with its own adult business debate:  The question of whether a tattoo parlor should be allowed to open in town.

The business in question is located in a small retail center just off Highway 49.  The owner initially faced opposition.

"The more informative you are with people, the more people are starting to understand what we are offering here," owner Richard Reeder said.

Reeder spoke to the Board of Aldermen, outlining state regulations that oversee tattoo shops and convincing city leaders he should be "grandfathered" into new regulations that provide stricter zoning control.

"Now this is artistry. And if it's done right with the protection of the people, it's a creative thing. And a lot of soldiers and police officers and medical personnel and different people get tattoos," he said.

State law requires a person to be 18 years old before they can receive a tattoo or body piercing.

The new tattoo shop in Wiggins isn't open yet. The owner is awaiting final approval from the Mississippi Department of Health.

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