New massage therapy rules on the table

CLINTON — In an effort to clear up some ambiguous language in the city of Clinton's massage therapy ordinance, the Clinton City Council this week will discuss an issue that has come to light in recent months.

Concerns that some of the city's massage establishments were bypassing certain guidelines or taking advantage of the unclear language in order to start and maintain the business have prompted city officials to draft a new ordinance, one which will come before the Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole on Tuesday for further examination.

The ordinance could be put in place to "create heightened and/or more specific requirements for individuals and entities seeking to obtain, transfer and/or renew a massage business permit," according to the drafted document. By doing so, the overarching goal is to "preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the City of Clinton."

The ordinance discussion will more clearly define items such as health standards, license and permit requirements, unlawful acts and grounds for permit revocation. Failure to comply with the more clearly defined rules may result in simple misdemeanor charges or daily civil penalties along with revocation of the business permit, according to the ordinance.

Should revocation of the permit occur, an appeal may be made by the business owner, with Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke then having 10 days to draft a review of the decision. The administrator will then meet with the business owner to have an informal hearing during which Brooke will allow the owner to speak on their own behalf.

Should the revocation be upheld even after the review, the case could be appealed to Clinton County District Court at the business owner's discretion.

The Clinton City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Clinton City Hall, 611 S. Third St.