The outdoor ice rink being built in East Aurora now has a noise citation slapped against it after an outcry from nearby residents Monday night about the noise of the rink's chiller unit heated up Village Hall.
The latest twist came Tuesday morning, when Village Code Enforcement Officer Bill Kramer issued a citation notice to the rink developer, Aurora Ice Association. Even so, the ice group has continued to operate its 36-foot-long compressor unit round-the-clock in an effort to build up enough ice to make a planned Halloween night opening.
Aurora Ice said it managed to surround the compressor unit -- which has generated complaints from neighbors in the area of Whaley, Riley, Church and Fillmore avenues -- with four walls of hay totaling 225 bales that were delivered to the Riley Street rink site Monday and Tuesday. The group also just bought 1,000 yards of shrink wrap to prevent moisture from seeping into the hay.
They are out of compliance. . . . The AIA needs to respond immediately," Mayor Clark W. Crook said Tuesday.
Crook said that the ice organization needs to solve the noise problem and respond to the citation. He also said the temporary seasonal rink is a development in the village of unprecedented nature.
"If we erred along the way, then I apologize," he said.
Meanwhile, AIA officials met with a few residents Tuesday night about the noise concerns. Sam Miller, AIA's assistant treasurer and an engineer, said the hay walls significantly reduced the noise.
"We did make improvements today," he said.
The ice group is also talking with two acoustics consultants who have other techniques and ideas to help muffle the chiller's sound. For instance, there are actual acoustic panels designed to absorb sound that could replace the walls of hay.
Miller warned village officials and the public that if the chiller -- which needs to run all the time -- got shut down, the rink would lose several nights worth of ice-making and lose all the ice the rink now has that will melt before a planned Oct. 31 DARE-sponsored free skate for children.
"We will not be able to make our dealine of a Halloween party for the kids," he said.
The chiller, which features three compressors, would start shutting down on its own once outside temperatures remained around 20 degrees.
Crook visited the rink Tuesday and said he could hear the chiller from his car.
"It's a whine. It's not what I would call obnoxiously loud, but I don't want to downplay the impact on the neighbors," he said.
" I feel very badly for these [neighbors]," Trustee Ernest Scheer said. "The sound is unbearable."
Miller referred questions about the code violation to AIA President Anthony DiFilippo IV, also an attorney. "The village did not shut us down, and legally, I don't believe they can," Miller said.
DiFilippo was unavailable to comment.