From barking dogs to the noise that bands make outdoors at bar establishments in Crow Wing County, a lot of this noise was heard Tuesday at the county board meeting.
Crow Wing County Commissioners first heard from neighbors of Heartland Animal Rescue Team in Baxter who complained that the dogs at HART constantly bark.
Commissioners later heard from several people at a public hearing who opposed amending the county's ordinance regulating liquor licenses. The amendment would restrict liquor license establishments to have their outdoor music, whether it be bands or other broadcast music, stop at 11:30 p.m. The county board took no action on the amendment. The board will discuss it more at its Sept. 25 county board meeting.
Many supporters of Villella's Bada Bing in Baxter, a bar establishment along Highway 371 near Brainerd International Raceway, spoke opposed to amendment.
Jerry and Christopher Villella, brothers and owners of Bada Bing, said if the county approved the amendment to restrict outdoor music they'd have a hard time making it as a business. They said if the bands stopped playing at 11:30 p.m. they'd lose a lot of money because people would go somewhere else until the bars close at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.
"We can't afford to have a band that could only play to 11:30 p.m.," Jerry Villella said. "We bring in business Friday and Saturday nights because of the outdoor music. If this went into effect I'd have to cut my staff in half."
Christopher Villella said they conduct noise tests constantly to make sure the bands are in compliance with the state noise regulations.
"If bands get too loud I shut them down," said Villella. "We also listen to our neighbors because that is important to us. We're trying to draw the locals.
"We're trying hard to make it."
Doreen Bragg of the Waterfall, also along Highway 371 north of Brainerd, also opposed the amendment.
"We need these amenities to draw in tourism," Bragg said "If we take away the music we'll be taking away the nightlife. We need to offer tourists things to do.
"We're already at a disadvantage with the other bars that stay open until 2 a.m."
Allison High, who lives near Bada Bing, has small children who go to bed early. She said the music isn't an issue because they can't hear it.
The county is looking at amending the ordinance after hearing people complain about the loud noise at several of the liquor establishments in the county, not just Bada Bing. The county board took no action on the amendment because it needed more time to look at the issue.
Commissioner Paul Thiede said there are people who favor the amendment, even though no one was at the meeting to express that. He said the county needs to look at all the issues before it makes a decision.
Commissioner Dave Houge said one of the options would be to have establishments apply for a special permit for outdoor events. He said this would allow the county to monitor the noise.
The other noise issue regarding barking dogs was heard during the open forum part of the meeting. The commissioners heard from Judy and Mark Zahn, who live on Dellwood Drive behind HART. Judy Zahn said they've been dealing with the nuisance of barking dogs for 15 years.
County Administrator David Hamilton said HART representatives and the county will be discussing the dog ordinance Thursday and he invited the couple and other neighbors to the meeting.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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