By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Council learned Tuesday evening that the average sound levels from the Morinville Community Cultural Centre are not much higher than normal noise levels recorded prior to the facility’s completion.
Administration delivered a report from Acoustical Consultants Inc. (ACI) that showed the average noise level from cultural centre events ranged between 58.3 and 61.1 decibels, figures slightly lower and slightly higher than the 60.3 dBA recorded in a baseline study conducted in October of 2010. The baseline level of sound is considered by the consulting firm to be comparable to a noisy office or conversation at 1 metre.
ACI conducted three monitoring sessions over the spring and summer, including a school dance at the high school May 26, the Streetheart concert June 25/26, and a wedding event July 16/17. The highest sound level recorded was during the St. Jean Baptiste Festival’s Streetheart concert when levels of 68 dBA were recorded.
The report indicates the high school dance did not contribute any additional measurable noise above last fall’s the baseline testing. Although the Streetheart concert was above the baseline, the consultants suggest the increase may have been due to a combination of wet roads, increased winds, and noise from the concert and patrons. The same report indicates the wedding did not contribute any additional measurable noise to the study area.
Overall, the consultant’s study indicated the dominant noise source during all three monitoring periods was road traffic along 100 Avenue. However, the consultants identified that during pauses in traffic, patrons leaving the Community Cultural Centre or talking outside it could clearly be picked up on 100 Avenue opposite the facility, the location where the monitoring was conducted.
Morinville’s Director of Community Service said her own experience shows concert noise is not easily reaching outside the facility. “You can stand outside the building with the band playing and you can’t hear anything,” MacDonald told council Tuesday night.
However, cultural centre administration has implemented a number of procedures in response to neighbouring residents’ concerns, procedures that deal largely with controlling those attending the facility’s events rather than the performances themselves. Some of those procedures include:
- Moving designated smoking areas to the north side of the building
- All outside events, including weddings, require building security
- Security plans must be submitted for all community special events
- Community Peace Officers are scheduled to make regular visits to the events and respond to any noise complaints in conjunction with RCMP
- Lessees are notified outside loitering is not tolerated
- Final call for alcohol sales is 12:30 a.m. and bar and DJ service is to be shut down by 1 a.m. with all patrons to be out of the building by 2 a.m.
- During evening functions exterior doors must be left closed
MacDonald said the procedures have been successful thus far. “Since we’ve implemented these procedures we haven’t had any complaints,” MacDonald said.
The Community Cultural centre will play host to a number of events this fall and winter during the Centennial Concert Series.