Ector County working to tighten regulations on adult businesses

Ector County working to tighten regulations on adult businesses

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Ector County is taking steps to tighten regulations on adult businesses. County Commissioners are looking at making changes to how workers are licensed.

If the new proposed changes are approved by the county, any type of worker at a sexually oriented business would have to file for a license and get their photo taken at the sheriff's office.

Right now, only entertainers have to do that. Another change the county is talking about is denying licenses to anyone convicted of human trafficking.

County Attorney, Dusty Gallivan said, "These establishments are a haven for criminal activity."

Ector County officials say safety is the main reason they're pushing to tighten regulations on adult businesses.

Gallivan presented the county's solutions Monday during a commissioner's court meeting.

"Over the past year, we've had a murder, we've had shootings, we've had robberies, we've had drug offenses," said Gallivan.

Gallivan said they likely can't put a stop to the crime but they're hoping getting more people registered will make investigating easier.

One challenge right now stems from employees using fake names. Gallivan said, "when the sheriff goes to investigate these crimes, we want to know who's there, what their real name is, in case we need to find them, an address for them, a phone number."

If approved, the annual licensing fee for non-entertainers would be $100.

County officials are also pushing to raise the existing fee for entertainers up to $150, it's currently $50 a year.

"We set the fee at $50 and that turns out to be too low to cover the expenses the county has incurred," said Gallivan.

Businesses that would be affected include Jaguar's Gold Club, Rick's Cabaret and County Line Adult Superstore.

NewsWest 9 reached out to all three businesses and management declined to comment. We did hear from one female dancer, who didn't want her name used, but says she's not happy about the possible $100 fee increase for entertainers. She wants to know exactly what the county would be doing with that extra money.

"We have a history now, we have almost a year of doing this. We know what it takes and we know how much work is involved so the $150 fee is justified," said Gallivan.

It is unclear if that licensing fee could jump even higher in coming years. None of these changes have been put to a vote just yet and the county attorney says it may be another three to four weeks before they make a formal motion.