Ducks, Off-Road Motorcycles & Varieties of Blues at St. Ambrose Sound Check | New


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BEULAH – Kirk Jones knelt inside his red barn in his cellar, pointed a speaker through the open door to the lawn, pressed the power button and the sounds of “Cry to.” Solomon Burke’s Me ”filled the air.

Over the next two or more hours, music played over the speaker as Homestead Township officials, a sound engineer, two lawyers and a handful of interested residents strolled from point to point. other while the audio readings were taken.

“We just want to get a baseline, so we have a point for negotiations,” said township supervisor Tia Karina-Cooley, who confirmed no decision will be made on Tuesday.

The special city council meeting, billed as a “noise simulation demonstration” and held at St. Ambrose Winery on Pioneer Road, was the latest development in an ongoing dispute over a noise ordinance that Jones says has been adopted to target her business.

Jones, along with his wife, Sharon, owns St. Ambrose Cellars on Pioneer Road, which often hosts weddings, civic events and fundraisers, sometimes with live music.

A few neighbors have complained about the noise, while others living in the same neighborhood say they don’t hear music or don’t mind it.

On Tuesday, one of the sound readings was taken in the backyard of a neighbor, Karen Kamp.

“Should I wait for the geese to calm down before reading?” Asked Jonah Powell, professor of sound at Northwestern Michigan College, responsible for taking the readings.

Kamp has a small flock of ducks, not geese, which made noise when visitors gathered near their enclosure, but quickly calmed down.

An all-terrain motorcycle passed, a noisy truck passed by, someone pulled away and a rooster crowed. Once it was quiet, the strains of the music from the cellar were audible.

Kamp said the music she had heard before was louder than the test.

“What I’m measuring is sound pressure,” said Powell. “Sound pressure and volume are two different things. There is no way to measure the loudness.

The problem is the sound ordinance passed by the Township of Homestead, for which Jones was fined $ 125 for violation in 2019. He fought it in court arguing that the ordinance – which prohibits to disrupt the rest of a person of normal sensitivity – was unconstitutionally vague.

The post, written by Township Noise Ordinance Officer John Brazaski at a basement wedding reception, has since resulted in multiple lawsuits, a taxpayer-funded appeal, charges against the staff of the 85th district court and a request from the township that the judge in the case recuse himself, which was denied.

On Tuesday, four friends who met years ago at Benzie Central High School sat outside in St. Ambrose, enjoying a robbery of draft beer and a basket of chicken strips. They said they were aware of the controversy but had not come for the meeting.

“I grew up all along the road,” said Heather Budreau. “I love this place. It has done good things for this region. It attracts tourists and it’s good for the economy. I wish that didn’t happen.

In February, a new township board – some elected on a platform to quell feuds with Jones and St. Ambrose – addressed the issue at a directors meeting with lawyers from two firms representing the canton present.

Karina-Cooley said the results of the good readings will be discussed by officials at an upcoming meeting and that negotiations are ongoing.

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