Safety concerns place concert venue, former mine under microscop -

Safety concerns place concert venue, former mine under microscope

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

( -- A unique venue has been placed under the microscope by Jefferson County Police after several safety questions were raised.

Tom Kerr owns and operates Crystal City Underground.  On the outside it looks like a big hole in the side of a hill, but inside, this six-million square foot former sandstone mine is the Crystal City Underground concert venue.

The venue grabbed the attention of Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer who says his officers made some arrests for underage drinking and drugs at a recent concert there.

"So naturally we feel like we've got a problem here," he said.

Despite concerns, Kerr says his very unique business is safe.

"We do everything in our power to make sure it's safe," he said.

Sheriff Boyer's main concern is the old one lane bridge--the main entrance and only way emergency vehicles can access it.

"It would be almost impossible to get emergency vehicles, you'd have to get all the cars out before emergency vehicles could get in,"  he said.

However, Kerr explained the appropriate safety issues have been addressed.

"You know we've taken steps to address any of those concerns," he said.

To avoid a bottleneck, during big events there will be parking attendants at each end of the bridge. If there is an emergency they will stop all traffic so emergency vehicles can easily get in and out.

There are plans for a two lane bridge, but congestion will always be a concern.

Sheriff Boyer also wants to know about safety equipment for the boats used for rides and backup lighting if there is a power outage.

"We want to ensure all the state and county ordinances are being followed to help ensure the safety of the patrons visiting the establishment," he said.

The owner of Crystal City Underground did have a safety certificate from the state for his former mine, and said an engineer inspected the bridge.

Kerr has big plans for the giant cave but will need to satisfy local authorities that everything is safe before those plans go forward.

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