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Local News

Parking, noise level concerns at Hastings Thornapple Plaza could be solved

With 500 to 700 people attending musical performances at the Thornapple Plaza in Hastings, finding a parking space was difficult, but city officials may have found a way to ease parking during events at the city’s newest entertainment attraction. The city attorney is working with Ace Hardware on conditions to lease a small portion of its parking lot during entertainment events, City Manager Jeff Mansfield said July 25.

 

Also to do with the Plaza, North Court Street resident Al Sherry thanked Mansfield for hearing his concerns, keeping in contact with him and doing something about his earlier complaint on the sound level of a concert at the Plaza.  

 

Sherry had said the sound traveled down the river, the band sounded like it was in his backyard and urged city staff to set decibel levels for future events. Mansfield said there were no specific numbers, but the level had to be “reasonable.” Readings he took were between 80 and 100 decibels.

Sherry said the second concert could barely be heard at his house. “I’m happy with that. We can live with 80 to 100 decibels.” Mansfield said he will continue to work with the sound people at the events.

 

In his report, Police Chief Jeff Pratt said he took decibel levels sitting in the audience at the Plaza which read in the mid to upper 80s. The readings went down as he walked down North Mill Street to the Post Office until the level was in the 50s, and  traffic sounds were higher than the concert.

“I found they were in the acceptable range,” Pratt said.

 

In other business, the council:

* approved the Downtown Business Team holding its annual Christmas celebration, Jingle and Mingle, from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4.

 

* approved the Woodgrove Brethren Church, Barry County Substance Abuse Task Force, with support from Hastings Manufacturing, to make improvements to the Hastings Skate Park.

 

* approved an ordinance to allow residential use in the B1 zone, with conditions, but denied a request to rezone a parcel at 1550 North Broadway from R-1 One Family Residential and R-S Suburban Residential to B-2 General Business District that would allow commercial development. The council followed the planning commission’s recommendation in both cases.

 

* appointed Clerk Tom Emery as officer delegate and police Chief Jeff Pratt as alternate officer delegate to the Municipal Employees Retirement System meeting in September.

 

* approved engaging Rehmann Robson for an independent audit for fiscal year ending June 30, for fees not to exceed $19,000 in the fifth year of a five-year contract.

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