Okolona mum on Boom Boom Room permit

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OKOLONA – A desire to keep possible clubs and businesses that sell alcohol on a tight leash has prompted the Okolona Board of Aldermen not to respond to a request for a city permit.

Alvin Thomas appeared before the board last week and said he has repeatedly been turned down, he has a renter for his property and wants a permit to operate.

I told you two meetings ago what I was doing and have yet to get a permit,” said Thomas. “I have a renter who wants to host birthday parties and community events there. I am not applying for a beer license.”

Speaking to the board, City Attorney Gene Barton reminded the board that permits must be signed by the person who plans to operate the property.

Thomas said after the meeting his renter was from Amory but he did not make his name public.

The Boom-Boom Room was never closed and I really don’t know why I have to re-apply for a license,” said Thomas. “I’ve owned that property for 23-years and I never sold beer or needed a permit. The people who operate it are required to get a permit and the city needs to decide about that when they apply.”

Okolona aldermen have been leery of allowing clubs to open after a permit was sought last year for a topless bar. The city quickly enacted ordinance requiring strict fire codes, a $1,000 permit application and zoning ordinances that carefully defined where a club could operate.

Okolona has seen several people host events where there was alcohol present at several venues around town saying they are private parties, birthday parties or special events.

The Boom-Boom Room was the site of several disturbances, one of which saw a woman severely cut with a box-cutter by another women in January 2011.

Okolona’s ordinance also requires any business that sells beer or alcohol to earn 50-percent of its revenue from the sale of food.

Aldermen took no action at their July 9 meeting.

In other business:

The board heard a complaint against the Okolona Police Department by Tony Carter who said he was improperly confronted, arrested and taken to jail.

Carter said he was sitting in a car with a friend in a friend’s yard on June 28 when police confronted him. He said the situation escalated to the point he was handcuffed and carried to jail. He said he was later released and then charged with loud music, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Aldermen took no action.

The board approved the demolition of a house at 208 North Carter Street and will ask Sheriff Jimmy Simmons to send county inmates to tear the house down. City crews will haul off the debris.

The board approved a ten-year tax exemption for United Furniture.

New board members Regina Pickens and Mary Gates asked for detailed information on city business prior to the next board meeting. Mayor Louise Cole said the July 4 holiday prevented packets from being complete for the July 9 meeting but they would be more detailed at future meetings.

The board entered executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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