By Mack Spencer
McComb selectmen were frustrated Tuesday evening after learning that a club on Summit Street that they said causes frequent problems is still open for business.
Selectmen Ronnie Brock and Devante Johnson complained that the Code Red Dynasty Divas Dance Studio is still operating, despite efforts to revoke the club’s privilege license for fire code violations and other operations outside the limits of the permit.
The dance studio’s owners protested when the board approved a club called Black Diamonds Sports Bar and Lounge to open next door to the dance studio in 2017, but city officials now seem to find the dance studio to be more trouble than the lounge.
Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said city officials started the process of revoking Code Red’s privilege license, but are limited in how they can proceed because the club owner has filed suit against the city to stop the revocation.
Brock said activities at Code Red frequently result in calls to law enforcement.
“At every event they have, about 10 officers end up going up there,” he said, both from the city police department and the sheriff’s department.
Entertainment District proposed
In another entertainment matter, Lockley presented a proposed map for a new entertainment district in the city.
The area would roughly follow Broadway and Railroad Boulevard northward from Thompson Street to Georgia Avenue, then jog eastward to continue northward along Summit Street to Moore Avenue.
The mayor said there are benefits to properties being in an entertainment district, including special, low-interest loans to fix up properties.
A similar benefit comes from being in a historic district, and the proposed entertainment district would partially overlap the city’s existing historic district, giving a double benefit for some properties.
Lockley said the availability of such loans could give downtown owners more incentive to repair some of the rundown properties in an area where the top floors of the Kramer Roof building on Main Street collapsed in 2017.
“Downtown properties are owned by individuals,” Lockley said. “It’s not the job of the city to keep up individuals’ properties. Property owners are the ones who have allowed these properties to deteriorate.”
Lockley told board membLockley told board members that he had shown his proposal to board members of the McComb Creative Economy Partnership, which has also considered trying to establish an entertainment district.
“If you have any further discussions like that, I would like to be included,” Brock said, noting that much of the area in question is in his Ward 5.
“I just showed them the outline. There were no discussions,” Lockley said.
Brock suggested moving the southern limit of the district south from Thompson Street to 21st Street so the Ice House bar would be included in the district.
In other business, the board:
• Heard thanks and a request for a proclamation supporting Marsy’s Law, which would spell out the rights of crime victims in dealing with law enforcement and the courts.
• Heard plans from Lockley for the city to support Wear Orange Day on Friday in recognition of National Gun Violence Prevention Day.
• Discussed a possible property donation to Walking in Da Light Ministries for building a domestic violence shelter.
• Heard an update on the Recycle One program.
• Heard a request to subdivide a lot on Highway 51 near Walgreens.
• Noted a request from Community Transportation Program director Benton Thompson to proclaim Mississippi Transportation Awareness Day.
• Noted payment requests from architect Steve Cox for work on the Hollywood Cemetery office building and restroom facilities for parks; Griner Drilling Service for the Water Well No. 5 replacement project; Webster Electric Co. for the Railroad Boulevard improvement project; and the state treasurer’s office for Hurricane Isaac recovery projects.