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TOWN DELAYS DECISION ON MUSIC LICENSE

The Boston Town Board almost made a decision Wednesday on what it wants to do with the live entertainment license for Couzins, the rock bar whose bass throb has been annoying neighbors.

Almost, but not quite.

The club has been operating without the license, with the board's permission, since June 30 as the Town Board has struggled to figure out how to satisfy neighbors without driving the bar out of business.

Nerves were fraying for both neighbors and owner Rick Hayden Wednesday night as the board voted, 3-2, to table any decision until its Nov. 3 meeting.

The board voted on a measure that would have put an 11 p.m. live music curfew on the club on Thursdays and midnight deadlines to shut off the amps on Fridays and Saturdays. It also would have required Hayden to have the recommended sound insulation in his attic by Nov. 3.

That vote failed, 3-2, with Supervisor William Eagan and Councilman Karl Simmeth Jr. voting for it.

Hayden complained that it would effectively put him out of the music business if it passed.

"I don't get customers in until 10:30 on band nights, so your cutting an hour off every band night?" he said. "You're strangling me.

"I've been working with (the town) all summer long . . . and now you're going to cut my hours too?"

In fact, it's not the volume that is annoying neighbors.

Hayden says he has used a decibel meter at his property line and found it registered 65 decibels, which was surpassed by a 70 reading when traffic went by on Boston State Road.

"It's the bass that's reverberating in my house," said neighbor Pat Needell. "I can hear it over my shower."

"The solution is turning down the bass," said Councilman Brien Hopkins. "I think the only measure is the nearby neighbors standing outside at 10:30 at night for 15-20 minutes until we can say, 'OK, it sounds good.' "

Hopkins and Councilman Richard Hawkins said they plan to do just that with whatever neighbors are available on a weekend night when bands are playing sometime before the Nov. 3 meeting.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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