Wapato considers adult entertainment ordinances

Wapato considers adult entertainment ordinances »Play Video
WAPATO, Wash. -- New rules on adult entertainment were recently put in place in Yakima. Now, Wapato officials realize the same entertainment could be happening in their city with little limitation.

A bar owner recently approached council to find out what the city's rules are on adult dancers. That person found out Wapato doesn't have any.

Now the city is considering establishing two ordinances that would govern adult entertainment in Wapato.

The city is reviewing one ordinance that would limit where adult entertainment can happen. The other would require a certain license.

Wapato police are also considering requiring added security at any event.

"I think there needs to be an ordinance for what happens. I don't think it should be a free-for-all," said Elizabeth Martinez, a Wapato bar manager.

Elizabeth says she's in favor of the ordinances because she thinks adult entertainment spells trouble. And, she says most bars in Wapato are too small to even bring in big enough crowds.

"For maybe a little bit more of a bigger one that has more of a wider clientele, it could work for them, but not for us," Elizabeth said.

That's not the case around the corner at Martinez's bar, where owner Ignacio Martinez says he would like to have dancers for added cash and entertainment.

"More money, more profit for the city. More move in this town," Ignacio said.

Ignacio said he would be willing to co-operate with the rules of the ordinances because he thinks Wapato can use some attractions.

He says for now he only allows girls to dance fully-clothed on his poles.

The city is trying to make sure that what happens on the inside of the bars doesn't affect what's going on, on the outside. They're trying to make sure that nearby neighbors and communities stay safe as well.

Elizabeth says those safety concerns are why she thinks mixing alcohol and strippers is a bad idea in Wapato.

"I think Yakima is close enough," Elizabeth said.

A town that already deals with alcohol problems, trying to put a cap on any more trouble.