The Mayor and Board of Aldermen plan to amend the city’s ordinance that will require event centers to follow the same rules as nightclubs.
During the board’s last meeting Police Chief Jeff Curtis expressed concerns about the fact that event centers are not required to close at 1:30 a.m. like nightclubs in the city. That same week a man was murdered outside of the Teflon event center on Mound Street after an argument that began inside the business after 3 a.m.
Event centers are not subject to the existing city closing hours because the businesses rent their facilities to individuals or groups for private events. Event centers are already subject to the current rules that require bonded security that is registered with the Yazoo City Police Department if more than 50 people are on the property and alcohol is served.
Ward 4 Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. said Monday that the city must amend the ordinance to include event centers.
“This community has never had event centers, and I look at it as just a way to get around our closing hours,” Brent said. “They should operate on the same timeline as all of the other nightclubs. They should all close at the same time.”
Board attorney Sarah O’Reilly-Evans said she is working on an amendment to the city’s ordinance that would include event centers and require them to close at the same time as nightclubs.
Curtis said police are also continuing to work with nightclub owners to make sure they are aware of the city and state laws.
“We have personally handed the statutes to every club owner,” Curtis said.
Mayor Diane Delaware said it is important for the city to enforce the law consistently, and no one may get special treatment.
“These small things that you’re talking about may sound boring, but they’re important,” Delaware said.
In other business during Monday’s meeting:
n Curtis told the board that traffic citations have increased considerably now that the police department has more officers. Curtis said that 163 tickets were issued during the month of February, an increase of 120 percent from a year ago.
Police officers have increased their presence on Lamar Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive and Calhoun Avenue due to numerous complaints about speeding. Curtis said patrols have also been increased throughout the city.
n City Engineer Wayne Morrison said that work resumed on the Willie Morris Parkway on March 16, but once again the weather has delayed the work. Morrison noted that more heavy rainfall is expected this week.
Amnesty Day a Success
n Municipal Court Clerk Mary Johnson reported that the city’s Amnesty Day, which allowed residents to pay off outstanding traffic fines without additional penalties, brought in over $7,000. Johnson said this year’s single day event was much more successful than last year’s two-day event, which brought in around $2,500.
n Phyllis Haynes, organizer of the Antique Days Festival, asked the city for a $2,000 contribution to the festival.
This year’s festival is set for October 22.
Haynes said the festival attracted about 600 people the first year, around 1,500 the second year, and between 2,500-3,000 attended last year’s festival. She said she hopes to draw a crowd of 4,000 this year.
The board tabled the request for further consideration.