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Shale Formation Brings Jobs, Revenue, Strippers to Small Texas Town

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“The whole world is changing here. This little community was deader than hell, but now that we have all these people coming in, we’re changing, things are happening,” Eloy Rodriguez, the Dimmit County, Texas code compliance officer, tells the Houston Chronicle.

"All these people" started to descend on Carrizo Springs, TX -- a town of 5,700 people two hours southwest of San Antonio -- to work the Eagle Ford Shale. But "while the county tax base and sales tax revenue are both doubling, and there are oil field jobs aplenty," the piece continues, "the flip side is seen in the $1,200 two-bedroom rental house that a year ago went for $250, causing some locals to be shoved out."

And, along with the "unbearable" traffic, "impossibly crowded" restaurants, and grocery stores "that run out of meat and beer," the oil boom has brought something else to the area:

While the town's new "gentlemen's club" happens to be 55 miles away, it's still too close for comfort as far as the populace of Carrizo Springs are concerned.

“I wish we had something besides a strip joint coming to town, like a YMCA or a movie theater. We need some entertainment for families,” schools superintendent Deborah Dobie tells the Chronicle.

“The majority of citizens are offended and aghast that we now have to deal with this problem, when never before did we even consider it,” says Pastor Pete Perez of the Grace of God Community Church. “We were shocked when we learned we couldn’t stop them from coming and opening up, it being a first amendment, free speech issue, and all."

Those pesky rights we have in the United States seem to have gotten in the way of Carrizo Springs' opposition to the club. So they did what any self-respecting, law-abiding group of concerned citizens would do -- they tried to suffocate the operation under a mountain of regulation written specifically to keep Barebacks from opening.

“Understanding that we could not exclude them, we tried to impose as many regulations as we could,” says county commissioner Mike Uriegas.

The new "sexually oriented business" ordinance in Encinal "may be the strictest in the state," says the Chronicle. The rules, which specify everything from the type of drinking containers that must be used to a prohibition on garbage burning, did not kill Barebacks -- but "so far, no further inquiries have come from strip club operators," according to the Chron.

Sheriff Joel Gonzalez "confirmed that complaints about prostitution have been received from managers of motels and operators of some of the many RV parks that sprang up overnight around the county."

“It’s happening at all the RV parks but no one wants to talk about it. And the rumor is, it’s happening at every hotel in town,” says Rodriguez, the code compliance officer.

Alas, where there's smoke, there's fire. Or, perhaps more appropriately, where there are oil field workers, there are hookers. One thing Barebacks seems to be lacking, however, is customers.

“I’ve been to a lot of clubs. I’ve dated strippers and escorts," pipeline surveyor Mark Vavrusa tells the paper. This is a great club but I don’t know why there aren’t more men. There are so many pipe-liners down here. I can’t believe this place is not full.”
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