The Ottumwa City Council will meet in regular session tonight at 6:30 PM, in the Council Chambers at Ottumwa City Hall…….and, if approved by the Council Tonight, there will be a permanent BAN on the establishment of what are called “after-hours clubs” in the City. A club called the Elbow Room is already in operation in Ottumwa, but, it is closed due to fire and safety violations. The existing club, should it re-open, will be under the most severe restrictions, and subject to penalties and closure for a wide variety of reasons.
The City Council will vote on the first consideration of a change in the “after-hours clubs” Ordinance, and also vote on waiving two other readings of the new law, making it effective upon publication in the Ottumwa Courier. The new law does away with issuing any NEW permits for after hours clubs in Ottumwa, and addresses safety, security, and behavioral issues on the Elbow Room, should it ever re-open for business.
One new regulation for the existing club would be to mandate the hiring of 3 qualified “security guards” to be employed during regular business hours between 2 AM and 6 AM each business day. These security guards would have to be approved by the Ottumwa Police Department, through the Chief of Police’s Office, and the cost of training would be paid for by the business.
Recent events in Downtown Ottumwa near the Elbow Room, including two stabbings and an assault that resulted in a death, prompted action by City Hall, to ban this type of business in the City in the future. City Officials note that this type of business in not conducive to an effort by the City to re-vitalize and restore the downtown Ottumwa Area.