City rejects couple's request for business with alcohol near a c - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

City rejects couple's request for business with alcohol near a church

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Natalie Powell and her husband wanted to start a place where people could come have a beer, dance and just hang out. Natalie Powell and her husband wanted to start a place where people could come have a beer, dance and just hang out.
The problem is they didn't realize a church was nearby, and now city leaders say they can't make the couple's dream a reality. The problem is they didn't realize a church was nearby, and now city leaders say they can't make the couple's dream a reality.
That town in this case is East Prarie and City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond said the answer is pretty simple. That town in this case is East Prarie and City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond said the answer is pretty simple.
EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) -

Natalie Powell and her husband wanted to start a place where people could come have a beer, dance and just hang out.

The problem is they didn't realize a church was nearby, and now city leaders say they can't make the couple's dream a reality.

"If the state says this person is more than capable then why would you deny just in your town," Powell said.

That town in this case is East Prairie and City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond said the answer is pretty simple.

"The city ordinances don't allow a business that sells liquor or alcohol of a church and just so happens there is a church that is approximately a 100 feet from the business," Thurmond said.

That ordinance was put in place in 1992 and Thurmond says there is nothing in place to change it.

"We can't break our own laws and that is really what it amounts to," Thurmond said.

But Powell said that isn't her biggest problem with the city.

"They only want us to operate as an arcade and if we operate as an arcade we have to be open to public," Powell said. "We don't want to be open to the public. We want to be a closed door policy where only our members who have paid their dues can come in and they are telling us we can't do that."

Thurmond said that may be possible.

"Businesses can restrict who comes into their place of business so to have a social club they could basically make it a private arcade hall or pool hall or whatever they want to do," Thurmond said.

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