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Angola sets aside $100,000 to fight challenge of strip club curbs

– City officials in Angola are bracing for a possible federal lawsuit challenging its efforts to block a developer’s planned strip club has set aside $100,000 for its legal costs.

The Angola Common Council on Monday authorized appropriating $100,000 from the city’s general fund to the council for its legal fight over the proposed Showgirls strip club.

Clerk-Treasurer Deb Twitchell said the city has paid Chattanooga, Tenn., attorney Scott Bergthold, who specializes in sexually oriented-business litigation, about $28,000 to date for representing the city in its legal fight.

That amount is nearly 30 percent of the appropriation approved Monday.

Alva Butler, who owns and operates the Showgirl III in Fort Wayne, is proposing to open a similar strip club at a shuttered restaurant in Angola.

Butler announced in August that he planned to open a strip club at the site, prompting the council to change local ordinances in an effort to prevent him.

The Herald-Republican reported that in November the city denied Butler a sexually oriented-business permit to operate the proposed business because the building he bought for the club is within 750 feet of a residential structure.

Butler’s attorneys have threatened to sued the city in federal court for its efforts to block the club.

Among the restrictions it has approved, the council changed the building’s zoning category, giving it an industrial zoning status where sexually oriented establishments cannot locate.

At the time that Butler bought the building on Aug. 9, the site’s zoning allowed a sexually oriented business.