It was standing room only at the Syracuse Town Council meeting Tuesday night as residents came to complain about the noise coming from Oakwood on the weekends and train whistles. “In the 11 years I’ve been on the council, there are more people here tonight than there have been in 11 years,” said council president Brian Woody as he opened the council’s regular monthly meeting.
Andy Mohr, a George Street resident, acted as spokesperson for approximately 50 residents who live across from the Oakwood Inn who have been directly affected by the “loud annoying” music coming from the inn during the week and on weekends.
Mohr told the council, residents have tried the neighborly way by speaking to the owners and management, but “if any difference has been made, it’s not noticeable,” Mohr told the council. “They’re just not good neighbors.”
He told the council that residents want the existing noise ordinance enforced. Mohr said they would like the music taken inside, but Woody pointed out then Music in the Park and Fourth of July fireworks would also have to be banned. Mohr said he didn’t want to split hairs, there was a difference between a concert in the park and the constant music from Oakwood Inn.
Councilman Larry Siegel noted the ordinance can affect a lot of things, not just Oakwood. “It’s hard to single out one organization and say ‘be quiet,’” he said.
Dan Harstine, another George Street resident, said, “Everyone wants Oakwood to be successful,” but pointed out the decibel level from Oakwood Inn exceeded that of a power lawn mower 3 feet in front of him. Harstine presented a noise ordinance from another town for the council to consider. He also pointed out residents met with Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello a year ago on the matter.
Harstine further said county dispatch is getting tired of residents calling to complain. Ciriello said he understood the residents complaints, however, dispatch had only two complaints for noise from Oakwood since the updated ordinance went into effect. Harstine said that wasn’t true, but Ciriello stated dispatch records all of its calls.
Ciriello said Oakwood is also under new management who is trying to fix a number of things.
Don Young and George Krabbe came before the council to discuss another noise concern: train whistles. They would like a new method of creating a quiet zone. When asked about funding it, Young said there were grants available from the Federal Railway Administration and CSX may also have funding available to offset the cost.
Siegel pointed out there were only four crossings within the town limits and to create a true quiet zone, residents would have to work with the county as well.
After some discussion Woody suggested he and Krabbe get together to discuss the matter further.
After the discussion, residents attending the meeting filed out of council chambers and continued to discuss the matter among themselves in the hall.