By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Long-time Community Cultural Centre opponent Tim Stirling made an appearance at Morinville Town Council June 14 to once again express his concerns about noise control from the $11.2 million facility and to express his opinion that council sidestepped a Subdivision Development Appeal Board ruling that proper sound mitigation would be put in place prior to the centre opening.
But Stirling, who toured the facility for the first time June 12, clarified his position on the centre and its place within the community. “I’m not against the centre, and I think it’s a great facility for the town,” he told council. “I think you just picked a poor place to stick it.”
The 99A Avenue resident said he was pleased with the low level of noise from the recent Canyon Rose Outfit show, despite what he referred to as constant bass, but wondered what noise levels would be like with a bigger band with bigger equipment. But while Stirling was pleased with the efforts to keep actual concert levels to a minimum, he was less pleased with efforts to control concert goers themselves.
Stirling said on the evening of May 28 he and his family experienced excessive noise from concert patrons coming and going from the centre to a local bar and back again, witnessed public urination, the toppling of garbage cans and the rocking of cars. When police were called at 2:30 a.m., Stirling said it turned out some of the early morning noise was made by those packing up the band’s gear.
Looking for sit down
Beyond his concerns about future concert noise and crowd control, Stirling expressed his opinion administration has been less than forthcoming with information. Calls to Community Cultural Centre manager Laurie Stalker and Town of Morinville Peace Officers have resulted in his being passed up the chain to Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Edie Doepker. Stirling said not all questions asked of the CAO have been answered, and a request for the full letter from the sound engineer on sound mitigation was denied.
“You don’t have to like me, you don’t have to value my opinion,” Stirling said, adding he feels as a tax payer he should get answers to his questions. “I’m just asking for common courtesy in answering some questions I’m asking.”
Stirling has requested a sit down between the RCMP, bylaw enforcement, councillors and affected residents to discuss how best to move forward in ensuring cultural centre events and patrons have a low impact on the quality of life of surrounding residents.
Mayor Lloyd Bertschi told Stirling he was pleased to hear actual concert noise was not as great as Stirling had earlier feared. As to the rest, it is something that will be worked through now that the facility is open.
“[Community Services Director] Susan [MacDonald] is committed with her staff to make sure those things are looked after,” the mayor said. “It’s things we are going to be working through,”
Bertschi said he was glad to see Stirling was keeping the Town’s feet to the fire on the matter and directed the CAO to set up a meeting with Stirling to discuss things further.