Noise ordinance to be revisited in the city
Discussions have been going on off and on for the past year. In April, after hearing from Lock 34 owner Brian Junke, the idea of officially changing the noise ordinance for the downtown business district was tabled.
Several residents of Urban Park Towers on Main Street have been complaining to city officials for months about loud noises in the morning hours.
At the time council members were considering a new ordinance that would require outdoor music to end at midnight on weekdays and at 1 a.m. on weekends.
Junke told the board that he would loose approximately $20,000 to $30,000 a year, if that happened because between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. he brought in a little more than $1,000 each weekend.
He also told the board when bands stop at 1 a.m. instead of 2 a.m., he looses 50 percent of his customers.
By the end of the meeting, the city agreed to hold off on making official changes to the ordinance if Junke would have bands set up out of the atrium area and more in the courtyard, potentially having less sound echo off the buildings. He also said he would have bands not play music as loud.
At the time, Mayor Michael Tucker told Junke they would she if these changes worked and if not “reevaluate” the situation.
Since then, complaints have continued, with some saying the music is now louder.
Alderman John Lombardi said he has been trying to get in contact with Junke, but as of Wednesday has had no response back from the bar owner.
“Brian Junke was in here,” said Lombardi. “We asked him to make changes. None of that’s been done.”
Tucker said that all of the ideas the council agreed to came from Junke. He said they agreed to the ideas because of the amount of money Junke claimed he would loose if music stopped earlier in the night.
“He has to meet us half way,” said Tucker.
This issue has a very fine line because we want a “very successful, vibrant business district” but also have to help residents, Tucker said.
In other city news:
• The council agreed to sponsor Lockport in Bloom for $500. The committee organizing the event approached the mayor after several sponsors fell through at the last minute. With the event scheduled for July 7 and July 8, there was a need for funding to purchase brochures and signage.
Tucker said there was $4,500 allotted in the budget for plants, which the $500 will come from. Council members agreed to sponsor the event for the year but would not do it in the future.
• The Dale Association also asked the city for $10,000.
Council President Joseph Kibler said in the 1990s the city used to provide $130,000 a year to the Dale Association. They stopped funding after the association refused to provide a financial statement, said Kibler.
Tucker said they did not give him details on why they are seeking $10,00 from the city.
“The city’s strapped,” said Alderman Pat Schrader. “Let the Dale deal with the Dale.”
Alderwoman Anne McCaffrey said not being able to help fund the Dale also has to do with timing. With the budget coming up, she said the city is unsure of what money they will have.
The council agreed they would be willing to hear from the Dale Association on why they are seeking funding and consider it for the 2013 budget year.
The Dale Association is state, federal and program funded. Though the Town of Lockport funds the Dale Association $50,000, the city does offer them more than $3 million in tax-free property.