Denham Springs targets literature, public displays and acts
DENHAM SPRINGS — The City Council unanimously approved an obscenity ordinance Wednesday night.
There are no businesses in the city that would violate the ordinance, but it will prevent such businesses from locating in the city, Paeton Burkett, the city’s attorney, told the council.
Mayor Jimmy Durbin said inquiries about the possible opening of an adult business in the city brought the issue before the council.
An earlier obscenity ordinance, which was part of the city ordinances covering criminal activity, was deleted several years ago when the city’s criminal provisions were revised, Burkett said.
Under the new ordinance, obscene items may include books, films, figures, paintings, drawings, photographs and recordings.
The ordinance defines as obscene things that appeal to prurient interest and depict sexual acts in an offensive way.
It prohibits public display of obscene items, explicit sexual material, or material depicting nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse.
The proposal contains exceptions for public libraries, schools and museums.
The sale, production, publication, or possession with the intent to sell obscene items is prohibited.
However, the new ordinance excludes things that have “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
In a section that appears to switch its focus from adult shops to strip clubs, the ordinance prohibits intentionally appearing in public while nude or employing another person to do so.
Likewise, it prohibits engaging in “an act of obscene live conduct” in a public place or hiring someone to engage in such an act.
Ballets, plays and motion pictures in theaters, concert halls, museums and institutions of higher learning are excluded.
Other business coming before the council included:
STORM DEBRIS: The council heard from the contractor handling the city’s storm debris cleanup that the first round of pickup is 75 to 80 percent complete.
Later in the meeting, the council amended the contract to allow the disposal company to pick up storm-related demolition debris as well as the vegetative matter it is currently handling.
Councilwoman Annie Fugler expressed concern that some people are putting out debris that wasn’t caused by the storm.
NATURAL GAS FUEL: The council listened to a presentation on converting its vehicles to using natural gas as their primary fuel.
Cost to convert four vehicles to run on natural gas and to purchase a fuel station for them would be $76,000, Councilman John Wascom said.
It would take fewer than three years for the city to break even on converting those vehicles, he said.
After the presentation, the council authorized the mayor to begin a search for grants that could be used to finance such a conversion.