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Destin Strip Club dispute - there won't be one
DESTIN -- The battle over a proposed strip club in Destin is ending.
Families who live near the property on Airport Road were outraged by the idea.
Last night, the city council voted to pay the developers to drop the plan.
A 1.75 million dollar settlement plus 400,000 dollars to buy the property.
Rob Brown "After multiple years of legal battles and lawsuits, the city of Destin has reached a settlement with an Atlanta based company that will stop them from building a strip club here in the city."
On Monday, the city council voted unanimously to settle.
The decision was met by a standing ovation from dozens of residents in attendance.
Henry Boenning "It prevents the negative forces that revolve around this type of business for the area. Because it would become a nightmare eventually."
City officials, including Mayor Mel Ponder, say they know the settlement is expensive, but that the long term benefit makes it worth the cost.
Mel Ponder "It's not necessarily a cash outlay today, although it is. I see it more as an investment in where we're going as a community."
Ponder says the deal should become official early Wednesday morning, and that payment will take place immediately.
Some residents were concerned with where that money might come from.
Henry Boenning "Well, I guess the taxpayers are going to have to cover it. It's unfortunate, but that's the way the cookie crumbles."
Ponder says it won't have a major impact on residents.
Mel Ponder "The funds are actually coming from a reserve account that we have that's got approximately 5.2 million dollars in it, so the funds will come from that. So you'll see no dip in services."
The settlement removes the last exemption to an ordinance that prevents sexually oriented businesses from selling alcohol in the city.
Henry Boenning says the reason to keep those businesses out is simple.
Henry Boenning "Because it's a family friendly community anyway."
Rob Brown "While the settlement is still waiting on signatures to make it official, Destin residents say they hope it'll help put this chapter of Destin's history behind them."