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Colonie amends, adopts new noise law

After a handful of residents voiced their disappointment with Colonie's new noise ordinance, the Town Board amended the ordinance's hours and passed it unanimously.

The ordinance, passed at the July 16 Town Board meeting, provides for an enforceable limit of 65 decibels from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan motioned to change the weekday start time from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. after a lengthy public hearing that spanned two board meetings.

The noise ordinance has been through many iterations. The decibel level was 75, and dropped to 60 in the first drafts of the new ordinance. After conferring with police, business owners and other concerned parties, town officials said, the allowed decibel level was raised to 65.

This concerned residents at the July 16 meeting.

I believe the police department needs to enforce the law that put forth, said Ken Champagne, of Latham. "Going to 65 is kind of a step back for the public."

Champaign said he was frustrated with police for pushing for the higher decibel limit. "I'm fed up with that crap," he said.

Joe Lombardo lives on Purtell Avenue behind The Roman Pub that fronts Troy Schenectady Road. He echoed Champagne's statement that the town is putting its residents second.

"I think what you've done by raising the level back up to 65, is that you've sided with the businesses," he said.

Mahan acknowledged their concerns, but said, "I'd rather see [a] 65 [decibel limit] amended noise law pass, than no resolution pass."

Town Councilman Bob Becker said he was opposed to the change from 60 to 65 decibels, but voted in favor of the resolution.

The law provides for a review to be done after six months to gauge the effectiveness of the new ordinance, according to Town Attorney Michael Magguilli, but the board could not specify what sort of report would be generated or how it would be disseminated, as the report, to be completed in January 2010, may be handled by a different administration.

A few residents noted, however, that regardless of the format of the report, it would be reactive in nature. Data would only be collected after complaints were made to police, they noted.

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