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Council sets curfew on Sportsplex drive-in

Council sets curfew on Sportsplex drive-in

A special drive-in night will take place in Timmins despite the concerns of neighbouring residents.

A number of residents of Cameron St. were present at council Monday, as Coun. Bill Gvozdanovic requested an extension to the city's noise bylaw for the end of June when he plans on holding two drive-in nights in the Archie Dillon Sportsplex parking lot.

Acting as a spokesperson for the group, local lawyer Peter Doucette said the residents weren't even aware that such an event might take place, coming across it by "happenstance".

Doucette said the residents were concerned about the travelling noise, considering it was just a few weeks ago they had complaints about noise coming from the arena when a concert was taking place indoors.

Their problem now is that Gvozdanovic says the movie won't only be available through transponders inside the cars, but also through speakers placed near the screen for those who might want to sit outside.

"A drive-in movie is a wonderful thing, we all used to go to them," Doucette said. "But they were never broadcast on outdoor speakers."

Currently the city's noise bylaw prohibits noise past 11 p.m. Gvozdanovic's extension would bring that to 12:30 a.m. when the movie is expected to end.

"I can tell you what joy it will be for us with young families at 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m. with music being played and the sound cranked up so 200 people could hear it," added Doucette. "The chief is here I can lodge my complaint now."

But Gvozdanovic said there is a misunderstanding and that the speakers used during a rock concert are far different than those used for a drive-in movie. He said while residents have the right to complain, the show will go on. He said if anything, the whole ordeal was blown out of proportion and that any idea that the evening would become a party is wrong.

"If you're playing the movie How to Train a Dragon, which is a cartoon, how are you going to have a party there?" he said. "The reason I asked for the exemption is because it was recommended by the administration, I didn't really think I needed it."

According to Doucette there was also concern about the site being right beside the Golden Manor. Not only issuing a complaint, the residents came forward with various other areas where the drive-in could be held, including the Shania Twain Centre, the parking lot off Highway 655 across from Ross Ave. and Kamiskotia.

Several councillors suggested the idea that the outdoor speakers be removed and that the movie only be heard through radio frequency, but Doucette said the large crowd would still be cause for concern.

"I understand your frustration with the rock concert," said Coun. Jack Slattery. "However this is supposed to be a family night."

Doucette also brought up the fact that as a city councillor the idea of Gvozdanovic wanting to make a profit on a city owned property "stinks to high heaven" and that if council wasn't looking at that they should.

But Mayor Tom Laughren was quick to point out that Gvozdanovic received no special treatment and was required to go through the same process as any other resident would.

Many of the councillors were concerned about the idea that the movie could go as late as 12:30 a.m., and also that it was so close to the Golden Manor.

The senior's residence administrator Heather Bozzer said that there were no complaints from residents following the recent concert at the Sportsplex, but pointed out that most were hearing impaired. Her concern for the drive-in was security, which is said will come in the form of volunteers.

-- Edited by Tommy on Wednesday 9th of June 2010 12:24:15 AM

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