Letter: Resident displeased with concert ruckus

Re Community Cultural Center’s First Event

Dear Editor:

Whether the first event at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre (MCCC) was a success or not is overshadowed by the drunken display that took place out in front of the centre both during and after the concert.

Intoxicated patrons and others who just showed up treated the adjacent residents to yelling and partying until 3 a.m. Public urination on the school’s lawn, vandalism by pushing over the concert garbage can, drunken teens screaming obscenities while they stood in the road rocking their buddy’s truck, people beeping their horns as they left the parking lot…. Did I mention this was going on while neighborhood children were in bed trying to sleep?

The RCMP was called in at 2:30 a.m. to bust up a tailgate party on the front steps of the centre. And in speaking with the RCMP they said they were chasing drunks most of the evening as patrons were going back and forth between the MCCC and [a local bar] just to drink and party.

All of these concerns were addressed before council and the appeals board. The Town gave assurances that the bylaw officer would be present to prevent things like this from happening. No big surprise, no officer was present. Security staff was present at the MCCC but they were busy controlling the interior of the building.

The smoking area for the building has indeed turned out to be the front of the building after assurances that it would not be. Wonder if anyone bothered to sweep all the butts up before school began this morning.

The Town side-stepped the SDAB’s ruling that mitigation methods be approved prior to taking over this building, instead voting to do a study on baseline noise levels in the area. The noise from the actual concert was reduced to a constant thump from the bass which was enough to disrupt sleep. Please tell me they at least had the common sense to do the noise study during this event so that mitigation can be corrected in a timely manner. Not holding my breath on that one.

Our fears were that our quality of life would be negatively impacted by the placement of this centre. No more wondering, it has!

Tim Stirling

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  1. Let us not let one person cast a shadow on the fact that the young people did not travel down the highway to be subjected to the peer pressure of the city attitude. Your feelings and observation are correct from your point of view, but there is the reality of what occured.

    My wife and I were very proud of the many respectful, courteous young people who partied and enjoyed themselves just like us old people do when we attend a wedding.

    Many thanked the organizers for the fact that a local band was able to perform in their home town in front of their families and friends of all ages. The atmosphere was more like a wedding, but we did not have to bring presents.

    The table clothes were on the round tables and service from Don’s Bistro provided first class food at a respectful concert for the communtiy with fine dining and classy music.

    Fact and Fiction are having a tough time living in Morinville, but in the end we do what we do for the people. This event was primarly volunteers who believed there should be something more for our young people than hanging out at a bar or in the parks.

    I personally picked up most of the minor debris in front of the centre which were two empty cigarette packs. We will ensure that we have proper containers outside in the future.

    God bless you sir for caring for the community and I look forwrd to that energy being focused. We look forward to some of your volunteer time to help us organize and adjust to meet your needs in the future.

    My three young adults were in Morinville at the concert and I was happy as I knew they would be safe. It takes a community to raise kids and we are hoping the writer will provide some assitance to improve the functions and their operations. The world has enough negativity in it already. Please take time to bring some positive to our community.

    Look forward to having your attendace inside the cultural centre for the Gospel Music show Broken Walls and the Comedian Jimmy Flynn that are being brought in for all ages.

    I will personally pay for five nights of two tickets for you to be a part of the positive celebration. Instead of watching from your fence, come inside. You will find Morinville people are more friendly than they have been described recently.

    Call the number on the entertainment poster, or pick up your two Gold tickets for all five nights. They are waiting for pick up from Karen at Bumper to Bumper.

  2. To R. Cust: Thank you for the offer of your good will and hospitality but really I think your missing the point. For starters I don’t oppose the MCCC, what I oppose is where they hastily placed it. As you sir have the ability to come to and enjoy this facility you also have the luxury of going home after an event to relax in the peace and serenity of your home. We do not, we are held hostage to the aftermath as was seen last Saturday night until 3am. Not only once in a while, but as the Town boasts will probably be every weekend for the rest of the summer.

    I tried being nice by giving my input prior to the building permit being issued, I showed up at Council on behalf of about 36 families to explain why this was such a poor location and what we saw as an acceptable solution for noise mitigation, only to be treated with extreme rudeness by the Mayor himself. I launched an Appeal which I won??? Won the argument that our quality of life would be negatively affected only to have the Town toss the SDABs ruling and the Architect’s recommendations for better noise mitigation to the wind.

    You ask that I bring a positive energy to the Town, this hard to do in this case especially when my wife has to be up for work at 4am and the disruptions have kept her awake most of the night. But I will promise you this, to keep your children safe when the local drunken hoodlums are running amuck, I will ensure the RCMP are quickly notified to disfuse the situations so that it will not ruin the good citizens time or the Towns reputation.

    Maybe a simple solution, would be to not allow alcohol sales at public functions, after all do people need to be intoxicated to enjoy a concert or live performance? Does this not attract the undesirable party animals? Would the Town consider such a thing? I’m guessing not, this is a cash cow for the Centre, and with the same disregard for adjacent residents comes the same disregard for those who only wish to attend family event without the presents of overgrown adolescents who need alcohol to enjoy themselves.

    Tim Stirling

  3. You just have to face the fact that the center is here to stay.

    It will never be a dry venue as that would be taking away rights of other human beings. You just have to deal with it since you live right there and by a busy road.It will be noisy so be prepared. Just call the RCMP to deal with the obnoxious ones, you cant say that everyone who drinks at that venue are disrespectful because that is just not true.

    And to say that this will bring drunken hoodlems about town…its too late, they have always been here and it has nothing to do with that particular venue.That area of town is growing and will continue growing whether you like it or not.

  4. To Tina: I like your comment about the “rights of other human beings”. What about the rights of the people living next to it? Do they not have the right to be able to sleep in peace? Please keep in mind, the Town conducted a study as to where to put this Centre, which they didn’t use, we the people, showed as to why this was a poor location while offering a solution and we were ignored. I launched and Appeal which sided with me on these concerns but allowed the project anyway. But you are right its here and we will now have to deal with it. But like everything else, Council said they would do things like move the smoking area to the rear, they did not. They said they would not allow the doors to be blocked open, in Mr. Smiths video they are clearly blocked open. They said the By-law officer would be present at such venues to prohibit events like last Saturday, he wasn’t there.
    Unfortunately I know that one family did move prior to its completion and I now know of two more who said they will be moving if it continues, this can be a huge cost to them. What about their rights Tina? So yes we will be dealing with it, but like anything else, if someone willingly and knowingly causes you to loose anything then they become liable for that loss and compensation is in order.

  5. I’m just wondering Tim, but in your opinion, where do you suggest the MCCC should have been built?

  6. Where in Morinville would have been a more ideal place for this venue? What effect did the doors being open actually have on anything? Should the By-Law Officer have been present? Probably, but that has nothing to do with the venue itself or those putting on a show there. As to the oh so horrible disturbances that occured that evening… No one running or involved with that particular event can be held accountable for other people’s actions and show or not those kind of delinquent behaviors happen all over town on any given day. To say that the MCCC is the cause of the disturbances is ludicrous to say the least. Although no factual long term effects are known I doubt that the MCCC will have a large negative impact on anyone’s quality of life if any. But hey, maybe I’m wrong.

  7. To Melissa: Consider this building sitting down by Extra Foods. Lots of parking, nearest neighbors, hundreds of feet away. And as the Town expands in the South it would be somewhat central and still far enough away from residential neighborhoods.
    Within the 6 places considered they did mention putting it on the other side of the high school, but the report also said that this was too close to adjacent residences.
    Understanding that they were going to build it anyway, we suggested putting up a sound mitigation wall, the Mayor got all worked up over that… Now apparently in a new study by ACI, they state a wall will cause a different problem… My problem is that I’ve requested a copy of this document three weeks ago just to review it and the CAO sent me an e-mail (17 May) regarding this and a number of Yes No questions I asked, telling me she would get to it when time permitted. How much time does it take to answer yes or no or make a photocopy and say come pick it up??

    To Christian: Open doors, was just an another example of all the empty promises brought up by the Town Office that they didn’t adhere to. You are quite correct, the venue isn’t the mitigating factor, and the delinquent behaviors have existed in this Town, but for the most part, they are in the Commercially Zoned areas of the Town. Before this Centre was built I informed the Town and the Appeal Board backed up those concerns that the Centre would be a magnet for that kind of activity in a residential area where it did not previously exist.

    To be clear: The Town getting the grants from the Federal Government for this Centre was a good thing. But not conducting any kind of residential impact study, or consideration given to the findings of the SDAB or the Architect’s recommendations for better noise attenuation while openly stating its because you don’t want to spend the money and you’ve already booked it for events is the problem. A total lack of competent planning brought these problems to our residential neighborhood.

  8. If you have not previously experienced any sort of delinquent behavior in your part of town then I assure you that you very lucky indeed as the behavior has NEVER been centralized in the commercial areas of town. I also know for a fact that the people parked at the high school has been happening for well over 10 years now. At all hours of the night, with stereos blasting if they feel like it. To say this is a new phenomenon seems quite a stretch. Honestly it seems like you are so totally against the MCCC that you are willing to attribute anything that happens anywhere as being the fault of it. I find I have to take anything you say in regards to this matter with a large grain of salt before I put any further thought to it.

  9. To Christian’s Comment: “I also know for a fact that the people parked at the high school has been happening for well over 10 years now. At all hours of the night, with stereos blasting if they feel like it.” It has happened on the odd occasion, and the RCMP have had to respond when it was excessive. But I don’t know where you live because I can tell you that living right here for the past 3 years, it rarely happens.

    You feel as though I will blame everything on the MCCC… that’s an open statement really based on what? I will challenge you to go back and read all of my posts on this site and come back and challenge me on anything I call facts of this case. Otherwise, we can agree that we just don’t agree.

    And I do find it sad that you feel delinquent behavior is wide spread throughout this Town. Maybe I was lucky in finding this neighborhood because it is a quite place. And maybe we would like to keep it that way.

  10. I really meant to say you would blame any “bad” behavior anywhere in the vicinity of the MCCC to be caused by that building being there. That would be an erroneous assumption. Also, I’ve been living in Morinville since 1995 in various parts of it. The bad behavior happens everywhere in town. That is not to say it’s happening every hour of every day. Many of the young people of this town have lacked for things to do on a night of freedom over the years and thus have managed to get themselves into one kind of trouble or another all over town. I honestly believe that the MCCC might end up being of great benefit to Morinville and its youth. Events like the concert geared towards a younger crowd would give them a great outlet for their youthful exuberance.Furthermore, to imply that the MCCC is going to ruin your neighbourhood simply illustrates what I said earlier. You seem to be against the MCCC no matter what and would use any incident you deem caused by the MCCC to justify your feelings against it. At least that’s how you come off to me. I don’t know that you’ve given the situation a fair chance to be proven good or bad. You assume it’s bad and go from there. But hey, maybe I’m wrong again.

  11. To Christian: You keep implying I’m a bent and twisted individual against the MCCC. Well take it for what its worth, I am in a fight with the Town Office, who don’t appear to be listening, to preserve my families quality of life…. But, I’ll give you this, the MCCC could be a excellent place for the youth of the Town, it could be a place for all of that energy to be expended. But lets look at “youth problems”, typically the youth getting into trouble are in their mid teens, not the older teens so much. So the MCCC would need to focus on this group to, as you say “be an outlet for their youthful exuberance.” Now correct me if I’m wrong, were the younger teenagers allowed into this concert due to alcohol being served? Will the Town be willing to bring in enough events to this Centre for the younger crowds that will be constructive, because I’m betting alcohol sales play a big part in the revenue for this facility and kids under 18 can’t drink. I know many places that I have lived ban any kind of alcohol sales at all concerts and in some cases search individuals coming into concerts for hidden booze. Because its been proven over and over, alcohol and concerts breed problems.
    But again, back to the youth of the Town, I would love nothing more than to see that facility filled with events such as Scouting, Cadets, Youth Groups, Drama Clubs etc…. Make the Morinville Community Cultural Centre live up to its name instead of being the Morinville Commercial Enterprise.

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