Jonesboro Aldermen to Consider Ordinance to Regulate Private Clubs

FEBRUARY 5, 2007 - Posted at 2:45 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - The city of Jonesboro is considering an ordinance that would regulate private clubs that serve liquor in the city.

The proposal is set to get a first reading tomorrow night before the City Council.  City leaders want the twelve clubs that have permits to pour alcohol to close by 2 a.m.

The ordinance would require that the clubs pay a franchise fee and a five-percent gross receipts tax on alcohol sales.

The city would spend 90 percent of the tax money on drunken driving enforcement.  The remaining ten percent would go to the city's DARE programs in local schools.  Yates says he has no idea how much revenue the alcohol tax would produce.

The ordinance would also require that the city approve of hiring at the clubs, to keep out convicted felons and people convicted of certain misdemeanors, such as prostitution or illegal gambling.

The ordinance would also ban nudity.

The city delayed introduction of the ordinance after some club owners complained that the regulations would duplicate state law.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)