Politics & Government

Macon council panel OKs new massage parlor rules

The bid to curb Macon’s illicit massage parlor activity took another step forward two years after Councilman Erick Erickson first proposed the law.

Macon City Council’s Appropriations Committee approved the ordinance unanimously Monday afternoon.

If the full council passes the new ordinance tonight,businesses offering “massage for hire” — defined broadly in the ordinance as “touching, rubbing, probing, scrubbing, bathing, cleaning, rinsing” — would get a city business license only after proving that its employees have the required state massage therapy licenses.

City Attorney Pope Langstaff said the Secretary of State’s Office told the city to remove the grace period from the original wording of the ordinance. Langstaff said the city’s original intent was to allow time for legitimate massage therapists in training to get the required certification for licensing, but the state law already requires certification to perform massage for hire.

The new law would become effective 90 days after the mayor signs the measure, and its enforcement would be the responsibility of the city’s business license office.