Noisy events spur protest

By Deborah Guziak Record-Courier staff writer Published:

About 10 fairground neighbors complained to trustees at their Thursday meeting about conditions that many of the events _ mostly held on weekends _ bring to their neighborhood, including loudspeakers, noise, dust, lights and high traffic. Neighbors of the property claimed that events, such as auto swap meets, do not have permits, which, they say, are required through the township.

Events involving the 4-H, animals or fairs do not need a permit.

The residents, who did not identify themselves at the meeting nor did they wish to be identified out of fear of retaliation, said the problems with the fairgrounds are escalating.

"Two or three loudspeakers are hard to deal with where we live," one woman said. "You're afraid to have a deck."

"Trucks are coming in at late hours," a man who lives in the area said. "People are camping out."

Many of the residents had asked for a schedule of events, but one was never supplied.

"I'd like to know ahead of time so I could leave my home Wednesday instead of Friday," another woman said.

One woman presented the board with a newspaper ad announcing a swap meet at the fairgrounds slated to open at 7 a.m.

"The fair board rules say events can't open before 8 a.m.," she said.

Trustee Leonard McKay said the township's lawyer is meeting with a lawyer for the fairgrounds on Wednesday as fairground personnel may be seeking authorization to get a blanket permit from the township that may cover as many as 20 events.

"We are meeting with them to clarify what it is they want," McKay said. He said the residents problems and concerns will also be discussed.

In other business, trustees approved financing a three-day township workshop for Clerk and Portage County Township Association President Becky Carter. The workshop, held Sept. 3-5, will be held in Washington,D.C. McKay said the last time someone from the township had gone was in 1964.

"This is a good chance to find out what's going on at the state and national level," he said. McKay pointed out that 52 percent of the nation's population lives in a township, but "cities get representation because of the density of their population."

In other business, trustees:

Appointed Fred Maier to fulfill a vacancy on the zoning commission. The term will expire Dec. 31, 1999.

Announced that an occupancy permit was approved by the Portage County Building Department for the community center.

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