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Ligonier Borough Council to discuss noise ordinance changes

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Ligonier Borough council members will likely discuss Thursday a business owner's proposal to extend the hours of the borough noise ordinance, which could crimp some construction projects.

Officials will meet at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Colonial House on Main owner Dawn Metz asked council last month to consider prohibiting loud construction noise until 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends.

The current noise ordinance restricts loud noise until 7 a.m.

Metz said recent early morning construction on West Main Street has caused two couples to abandon two-night reservations at her inn on that street and has prompted other customers to complain.

Because tourism dollars are essential to Ligonier's economy, Metz said, “It will be very detrimental to our town if people can't get a restful sleep.

“They won't come,” Metz said. “Restful sleep is part of the unspoken expectations to going away for vacation or business.”

Although Metz acknowledged most construction is temporary, she said she is concerned about the building of The Nest on Main, which will house retail space on the ground level and condos on the second floor. That building is proposed for the empty lot, owned by Dan McMaster, adjacent to Metz's inn.

“This has to do with our tourists that are coming to Ligonier. Visitors are our financial lifeblood. The lodging in this town will be in peril if construction is permitted to continue at these early hours,” Metz said.

Council President Buddy Helterbran took an informal poll on the proposal and members agreed unanimously to consider the change.

“It's something to consider. If the contractor is aware that the start time is 8 a.m., I don't think it will be a problem,” Councilman Sam St. Clair said.

“This is a big factor for guests coming to town. I think it should be looked into,” added Councilwoman Kim Shaffer.

Secretary-treasurer Paul Fry said in the month since Metz's appearance before council, officials have not found any other municipality with similar limits on construction noise.

“Some municipalities have noise ordinances, but none of them prohibit noise after 7 a.m. and most of them make exceptions for construction noise, snow blowing and lawn mowers, for example,” Fry said.

Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.