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Lockport noise measure pulled after restaurant gives assurances

After receiving assurances from the operators of a downtown restaurant that efforts will be made to quiet the bands that play there, the Common Council this week backed down from a plan to impose a stricter noise ordinance in the business district.

Brian Junke and Chris Knapp, owners of Lock 34 Bar & Grille, told the aldermen that their outdoor live music on Friday and Saturday nights will be moved deeper into the Ulrich City Centre courtyard to try to prevent as much noise from reaching residents of Urban Park Towers, an apartment building across the street.

Alderman John Lombardi III, R-1st Ward, represents the Towers' residents, several of whom had complained of the music, which is allowed until 2 a.m.

Lombardi had proposed barring live outdoor music after midnight Sunday through Thursday nights and after 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Junke and Knapp said that would hit them in the pocketbook.

The bar stays open until 3 a.m., but the bands stop at 2. "Our business gets cut in half when the bands stop," Knapp said.

Based on 22 to 25 weeks a year of outdoor performances, Junke estimated that stopping the music an hour earlier would cost the business $25,000 to $30,000 a year.

The establishment, formerly known as Taboo, has offered bands at its outdoor bar in good weather for the past four years. The rest of the year, the bands play inside the building.

The bandstand will be moved from the archway leading from Main Street to the courtyard. It will be moved inside the courtyard, and speakers will be pointed toward the bar. Also, the bands will be told not to play as loudly.

That way, Junke said Wednesday night, the music won't be any louder than "the recorded music I have the rest of the time that nobody complains about."

"Let's try a little trial run," Mayor Michael W. Tucker said. "If it doesn't work, we'll re-evaluate it."

On other matters, the Council passed four bonding resolutions, totaling $8.6 million worth of bonding authorization for a wide range of potential projects.

"We're not borrowing any money tonight," Tucker told the audience.

The items for which the city could borrow money include new roofs for City Hall and other city-owned buildings; the possible demolition of the Main Street parking ramp, new electronic water meters; replacement of City Hall elevators and phone system; parks maintenance; and a wide range of equipment and vehicle purchases.

Also Wednesday, the Council approved another extension of the 2003 contract that allows parts of the Town of Lockport to use the city's sewer system.

The town will continue to make the annual payment of $596,855 through this year. "We're going to start negotiations for 2013 very soon," Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said.