Give Now

Columbus Ordinance Would Require Permits For Massage Centers

A proposed ordinance would require massage centers in Columbus to obtain a permit if they are not licensed with the state.

Columbus City Hall

Photo: Indiana Public Media News

Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown expects large support for the bill that she and the Columbus Police Department helped draft.

The city of Columbus is introducing a proposed ordinance at its council meeting Tuesday that would require some massage establishments to obtain permits to operate.

Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix says the ordinance comes a few days after two massage parlors were shut down after they were suspected of prostitution and failing to pay sales tax.

“Obviously we don’t want massage operations or any operation that’s occurring in the city where there’s criminal activity going on behind closed doors,” he says.

Massage therapists who are already licensed with the state would be exempt from getting a permit. Those that are not licensed must go through the permit process which includes a background check and a series of inspections.

Mayor Kristen Brown worked with police to draft the ordinance. She says she expects it to receive large support.

“I think the only concerns are going to be making sure we don’t make it unintentionally prohibitive or difficult for legitimate, certified massage therapists to operate,” she says.

President of Alternatives For Health Freda Neal says when illicit businesses are allowed to function it hurts legitimate businesses like her own. She says she hopes the ordinance will change that.

“You would think after years and years of good massage therapists helping people relax, helping them feel better, helping them getting their pain levels lowered, things would be different,” she says. “But there’s always someone out there saying, and what else do you do.”

The city council will not vote on the ordinance tonight but action could be taken at its next meeting later this month.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook