Resident requests earlier cut-off for park noise

EAST LIVERPOOL — An Elysian Way resident without central air conditioning in his home is asking that nearby Thompson Park be a “good neighbor” when it comes to noise during the coming warm months of summer.

Park board President Betsy Wells reported at Thursday’s meeting this neighbor had suggested the board limit amplified sound to 10 or even 9 p.m., prompting Wells to say, “I think that’s a little draconian for a park.”

In an email to Wells, this resident said he and his wife like hearing the park used and support the East Liverpool’s Got Talent event as “one of the best town spirit enhancers,” but said that, when their windows are open on hot nights, even earplugs will not shut out hours of pounding sound.

He asked if the board might establish a “good neighbor” policy to be enforced by the park superintendent, saying his research showed the city’s noise ordinance cites 11 p.m. as the cut-off for amplified sound.

Wells, who lives across the street from the park, said the matter should be left up to Superintendent Shawn Rybaczenko to handle “if anyone gets out of hand.”

She asked if, other than the ELGT event, musicians make a habit of coming to the park and “jamming” at night, with Rybaczenko saying they do not, adding, “When it gets dark, everybody leaves except a few people who walk their dogs.”

The board took no action on the matter, with Wells saying, “The noise ordinance is 11 p.m.; if Shawn has an issue, he can tell them to quiet down.”

In regard to the ELGT event, Amy Hissom reported she is starting a fund raising campaign this year to purchase permanent LED lighting for the park amphitheatre, which will cost between $3,000 and $5,000 from local electrician Sayre Electric.

Last year, the group raised money for a theatrical curtain for the facility, and Hissom said she has other plans for the future so it can be used by many groups, not just ELGT.

After hearing a report by Rybaczenko about park employees Dave Quarterman and Vince Milewski, the board agreed the two workers deserve a treat.

Rybaczenko said both workers stepped up and went above and beyond their normal duties with both the lawn care and mechanical maintenance at the park, especially considering the weather, saying, “They’ve been working like fools. If not for them, I would never have gotten the flowers done.”

The board agreed to treat the men to lunch, and board member Mark Hissom used his phone during the discussion to contact Nicole Fitch at L and B Donuts, reporting that she agreed to provide them with the meal.

Member Art Doak reported city planning Director Bill Cowan is handling the process of advertising for bids to pave the park exit road, saying it is anticipated construction may get underway in August.

Wells reported that someone “very close to the park” has suggested naming the lower baseball field after Huff Hoffman, who has been instrumental in raising funding to refurbish the field.

“When you start naming things after people, you start down a slippery slope,” Wells said, although pointing out the pool and amphitheatre are both named after individuals.

Agreeing, “there is no question Huff is deserving; he’s worked long, hard and diligently,” Wells said, “A park can never have too many benches,” and suggested, instead, that benches be purchased with plaques honoring Hoffman as well as former board President Burl Warrick and board member Wink Smith.

She will compile costs for benches and plaques for the next meeting.

The board voted in favor of an additional $860 worth of landscaping work around the superintendent’s house by Bob Smith, entailing the labor to gather 10 tons of river rock from around the park and installation.

It was reported by Wells that the Patrick Foundation wants to donate $5,000 to the park, but a specific purpose must be stated for the money or it will not be donated, and she said, “Everything we need it way over that (cost)”

Rybaczenko said he is working with state legislators on applying for a grant for new handicapped-accessible restrooms, and the board agreed to ask if the donation might be used toward that purpose.

Wells also reported the Fawcett Foundation had given the board $600 toward the proposed dog park, which has not come to fruition, and it is obligated to return the money if it is not used.

She said Wink Smith has suggested using it to purchase a dog fountain which could be incorporated into the dog park in the future.

Rybaczenko said dog fountains he has seen cost upwards of $1,000 and he believes he can make one cheaper. It was agreed to have him try that, with the $600 to be combined with other monies to purchase a second dog fountain.