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PC residents upset by outdoor concert

By Staff | Oct 6, 2010

Tensions were high in Paden City on Monday evening as 13 residents met to protest against a business located within the city limits.

According to Paden City Police Chief Michael Billiter, Ptl. Michael Owens received several complaints of loud music resonating from Days Gone By, a local pub, on the evening of Oct. 2. The owner’s were made aware of the violation upon the first call.

“They were told to keep it down because of a noise complaint,” Billiter said. “Every time after that we filed an individual charge for breach of peace.”

Billiter reported the business could face a total of 11 citations in city court for breach of peace, an offense with an initial fine is $110. However, for each subsequent charge filed, the owners of the business could be fined up to $500.

But residents living in the area around the business were not satisfied with the issuance of citations alone, citing several instances over the past two years when noise and profane language have been a nuisance. One citizen describe Saturday’s concert as “deafening.”

“I called everyone but (Eileen) the other night when that band was up at Days Gone By. I want that stopped!” Scott Loy demanded.

“We are going to get it stopped,” said Mayor Bill Fox. “Everyone who called in here had a right to call here. That was outrageous.”

“It wasn’t just this band,” Loy explained. “Their bar is outside. They have 35 or 40 people out there and every time you turn around they’re screaming. I’m sick of it! I don’t want to put up with it! If it’s a bar, it should be inside.”

“They say if you don’t want to live by a bar, don’t move next to one,” remarked Loy. “I have lived there for 30 years and that bar was put into a house.”

The residents were not alone in their disdain for the activity at the local pub. Councilman Tom Trader corroborated Loy’s story, informing the council that he heard the noise for himself. In fact, Loy attempted to make contact will all of the council members.

“It (the music) started at around 8 p.m. and went on until 11, but that didn’t stop the noise.”

Jennifer Martin, who lives in the house adjacent to Days Gone By, also commented on the noise. “I’m a little more calm than I was on Saturday. I’ve tried to stay within reason,” she said.

“Those people up there own a bar. Do you know who governs a bar? Fox asked. “The ABC. Now, if you make phone calls to the ABC compliance officers, they have to address the issues. If you get enough complaints about a business, they can shut that bar down because of the nuisance.”

Loy was adamant that the council and the police department should take take of the issue. “What are you going to do about it?” he asked.

Mayor Bill Fox answered with another question. “I just told you we’ve got a lot of citations. Isn’t that a start? If you get enough complaints and you call the people in Charleston…”

Councilman Glen Casteel interjected, “I think that ought to be our responsibility.”

Fox replied, “Not necessarily. Anybody can call down there, it doesn’t have to be an official of the city.”

In the meantime, Fox said the council would work to revise the ordinances pertaining to noise in the city limits, since the current ordinances are general and ineffective. “We are in the process of re-writing these ordinances to give them some teeth,” Fox commented.

Residents were also concerned with an open fire reportedly burning in the patio area behind the bar. But Chief Billiter informed the council and the residents that a reasonable fire could be built as a source of heat or for cooking as long as it was contained.

Still, the complaints kept coming with the primary concern being the activity outside the bar and noise.

“I want to know what the police force in this town and this council are going to do about this,” Loy said.

“Let me tell you as briefly as I can,” Fox replied. “We are going to try to change the ordinance and draft one that has some teeth, that we can do something with.

Loy asked, “How long is that going to take?”

“We meet once a month. After we get an ordinance drafted – and that takes some time – we have to have two readings before you can pass the ordinance. It could take up to three months or we can try to expedite it and get an ordinance and call some special meetings. I can’t tell you exactly how long it’s gong to take.”

“I’ve tried not to cause problems, but this is ridiculous want it to stop,” Loy said. ” I don’t want them out there drinking or playing corn hole.”

Loy also requested the maximum capacity for the structure. Fox advised him to contact the Fire Marshal.

“So I have to call them myself?” he asked. “What’s the purpose of you people? This is a business in this town that’s causing a problem for the whole neighborhood and I want this addressed. Now, if I have to call I will. If I have to take care of it, I will. But it’s going to stop,” Loy exclaimed.

“The problem is that when you call to ask them to turn it down, they are rude to you,” Martin said.

“We have to get the outside resolved first,” Casteel said.

Overall, it was concluded that because the ordinances regarding noise are not clearly defined, the definition of noise is left to interpretation. Again, the Mayor stressed the need for the revision of ordinance inherited by the current council.

Councilman Richard Wright continues to rally his fellow councilmen in an effort to put in place ordinances to protect the citizens of Paden City against vicious dogs. Wright’s current push for change comes in the wake of an attack on 1st Avenue last week.

According to Wright, a resident was attacked by a pit-bull dog resulting in injury. The police officer responding to the attack was subsequently attacked by the “family pet” and was forced to shoot the animal with a .45 caliber pistol. However, the animal did not die and was returned to the home.

“We really and truly need an animal shelter,” remarked Paden City resident Cindy Slider. “I spoke with Michael Billiter and though the dog did not break the skin, he was attacked. The other gentleman wasn’t as fortunate. We have an issue with cats and dogs. I’m an animal lover, but if someone was to try to take my dogs, there would be a lot of stink about it.”

Fox said, “I don’t think anyone disagrees with you, Cindy. I think everyone agrees that we have a problem.”

Slider interrupted, “Yes we do! But the sad part about it is, I heard you might be voting to ban pit-bulls.”

“There is no one around this table who is going to ban pit-bulls,” Fox commented. “I want to make that clear. Now, we are going to come up with some ordinances for vicious dogs. But for us to sit around this table and tell you or anyone else in this city they can’t have a certain type of dog or a certain type of cat. . . that’s not going to happen.”

“We need to get some things done. Hopefully, we can get the money and find some volunteers,” Fox continued.

Pointing to Councilwoman Eileen Smittle and Councilman Wright, Fox said, “There are two people on the other side of this table who will be working on vicious dog ordinances. But not to ban any dogs.”

Slider is checking on cinder blocks for the construction of an animal shelter to serve the city. She will report her findings to Smittle and Wright.

In other business, Casteel informed the council that the plans for the annual haunted trail will be finalized next week. The committee has proposed 25 stations, an increase from last year. “It should be a success,” he commented.

The council also voted to designate Trick-or-Treat for Oct. 28 from 6-7 p.m.

Due to the adoption of a new insurance policy for the city, Mayor Fox appointed Casteel and Councilman Larry Potts to a newly formed Safety and Loss Committee, citing the two have the time to devote to the position and paperwork.

Additionally, the Paden City Council designated the 2010 burning season for Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, weather permitting.

The next Paden City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1.