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Massage parlors in Ottumwa face new regulations

Ottumwa City Council/ KTVO

The Ottumwa City Council passed new restrictions on the business of massage parlors Tuesday night.

Police Chief Tom McAndrew asked for the new rules in order to help control prostitution and sex trafficking in the City of Bridges. The new set of rules require Photo ID, background checks and licenses.

New massage parlors will now have to face new fees including $75 with an additional fee of $25 for each person performing therapy up to a maximum permit fee of $150. However, the existing massage businesses won't face the new fees.

One opponent of the ordinance told the council that the new rules make all businesses look bad.

Council member Marc Roe gave KTVO the breakdown on why Ottumwa needs a new ordinance in the first place.

"The whole point of the ordinance isn't to punish the massage parlors in town. We have a respectable businesses in Ottumwa. They're professional. The point is to not let the unprofessional businesses come in to Ottumwa. We've had that in the past and quite honestly, it took a long time to get rid of them and they were a detriment to the community while they were here," said Roe.

The ordinance passed unanimously and the council moved to enact the law immediately.

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