City tables noise ordinance for 'trial run'
During Wednesday’s committee of the whole meeting, Alderman John Lombardi made the decision to pull the resolution off the agenda after hearing from Lock 34 owner Brian Junke.
Junke approached the council because if the new ordinance took effect — requiring outdoor music to end at midnight on weekdays and at 1 a.m. on weekends — he would loosed approximately $20,000 to $30,000 a year.
He presented the council with a chart showing his sales for the last month. Between the 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. time period, he brought in a little more than $1,000 each weekend.
He said he has live music playing outside on Friday and Saturday nights for 20 to 25 weeks a year, weather permitting. If bands stopped at 1 a.m. instead of 2 a.m., 50 percent of the people would go home. He said statistically, when a band takes a break or finishes a show, he looses half of the people in attendance.
“If we cut bands at 1 a.m., it will hurt us financially,” said Junke.
Junke said that their biggest draw is the outside bar, attracting people from outside the Lockport area.
Lombardi said that the council did receive a number of complaints from residents living in Urban Park Towers, which is the area he represents, and their concerns have to be addressed.
The council explained to Junke about the location of where he sets his bands up and how sound carries across the street. They suggested that he have bands set up out of the atrium area and more in the courtyard, potentially having less sound echo off the buildings.
Junke said that they would be willing to work with the city to create less noise. He said he would move the bands and also have them not play music as loud.
“I have no problem telling [bands] to turn it down, a lot,” he said.
He said he would keep bands to the level of the music the bar plays outside normally, which doesn’t receive complaints.
Junke also wasn’t opposed to stopping outside music on weekdays at midnight.
Mayor Michael Tucker said they would first do a “trial run,” to see if these changes would alleviate the problem.
“If it doesn’t work, we’ll reevaluate,” said Tucker.
Lombardi said that he understands his concerns from his constituents but also knows Lockport has an active business district.
“We’re not anti business,” said Lombardi. “I appreciate the fact you’re willing to work to make it OK with everyone.”
Another factor on the noise ordinance not being voted on was the cost. Lombardi said it would cost approximately $1,000 to change it. Because there is a noise ordinance city wide, along with the downtown ordinance, he felt it should all be reevaluated before a change is made.
Other council members have received complaints from residents in their Wards, in regards to outdoor music or noise late at night.
Alderman Anne McCaffrey thanked Lombardi for pulling the resolution.
“We need to keep business viable downtown,” she said. “Anything that doesn’t keep business viable, I’m opposed of it.”