|
|
The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Fat Cats owner defends himself, but councilman wants to shut him down

  • The owner of Fat Cats Entertainment Complex, who appeared before the Rolla City Council several times in 2013, showed up again Monday night.
    • email print
      Comment
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • The owner of Fat Cats Entertainment Complex, who appeared before the Rolla City Council several times in 2013, showed up again Monday night.
    Near the end of the meeting, when residents are allowed to speak to the council on any issue, Fat Cats owner Josh Noe stepped up to the microphone.
    “I’d like to share some facts,” said Noe, who explained he had watched a video recording of the meeting held two weeks ago at which neighbor Jim Corey complained that the noise from Fat Cats continues unabated.
    What followed was similar to previous meetings about noise from Fat Cats, with the exception that one councilman erupted in anger and told Noe he ought not be in business where he is.
    And at the end of the discussion, Mayor Lou Magdits told Noe that the city administration, city attorney and city counselor will assess the situation and come back with recommendations.
    At the last meeting, Corey indicated he believed Noe had been convicted of noise charges and would continue to do business with excessive noise, paying the fines because it was easier and cheaper than to make an effort to stop the noise.
    Because of the excessive noise, Corey said, he was putting his house on the market but was concerned that he would not get a good price because he felt Fat Cats has been a nuisance.
    Noe defended himself Monday night, saying that he has been portrayed as “a jerk,” but he is trying to be a good neighbor.
    “Anytime someone complains about Fat Cats, a citation is issued,” Noe said, saying policemen have told him that the new department policy is to issue the citation and then let City Attorney Brendan Fox determine whether to continue with prosecution in Rolla Municipal Court.
    Noe said he does not have the attitude that he will “just pay the tickets and not do anything” about the noise. That impression may have come from his statement, “If I have to pay, I’ll pay it,” he said.
    “I haven’t been convicted of anything since you all approved me,” Noe said, referring to the council’s approval of a Family Entertainment and Recreation Center district zoning for that property, owned by Charlotte Barrack Trust and located behind The Family Center, off Highway 72.
    Only two neighbors complain about the noise, he said, Corey being one of them. Noe said the other family has not spoken publicly to the council, and they will no longer speak to Noe.
    But other neighbors have no problem with Fat Cats, and Noe said he had signatures from those neighbors who “say they don’t hear anything.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Noe said he has taken a further step to alleviate the noise, especially night-time noise, by building another wall inside the building, making an inside entrance to allow people to go outside for smoking or to leave the establishment without opening the door to the concert area.
    A decibel standard for all businesses like his needs to be set, Noe said, for other bars with music make more noise in their neighborhoods than does Fat Cats, he charged.
    Noe said Fox and the Rolla Police Department are “researching” decibel levels.
    “We’re both on the same page,” Noe said of himself and Fox.
    Councilman Don Morris told Noe, “I have been in these neighborhoods. I heard the bass.” It is the steady thumping of the bass accompaniment that keeps the neighbors awake, he said.
    City Counselor Lance Thurman told Noe that coming up with a standard will be difficult, for “You are a completely new thing. You are the only FERC ... You have a separate zoning that we’re never used before ... You have created a new entity. Everybody in your class of zoning is you.”
    Councilman Kelly Long asked Noe, “If your neighbors were making noise, what would be the decibel level acceptable to you ... We have people telling us that they can’t sleep.” Long said it makes sense to him that the decibel level should be zero. Noe said a public library typically has a decibel level of 40.
    “I just want to make this work,” Noe said.
    Councilman Anthony “Tony” Bahr disputed Noe’s statements that he wanted to work with neighbors and the city.
    “I don’t believe you. I haven’t believed you from the first day,” Bahr said. “You haven’t done a damn thing over there.”
    He added that he and other councilmen had told Noe from the beginning that the building chosen, the former Magic Lantern Skating Rink, was not a good place for Noe to be. It is too close to homes.
    “We need to shut you down, buddy,” he said, angrily. “If I get my way, that’s what we’re going to do.”
    Although Noe had attempted to give Bahr the list of neighbors who are said to be supportive of him, Bahr would have none of that.
    “I don’t want your damn list,” the councilman said. “I want you out of that neighborhood.”
    Long said the problems have resurfaced lately because “people are trying to sleep with their windows up.”
    Page 3 of 3 - And Councilman Walter Bowe warned that the problem seems unsolvable and out of the control of Noe. The problem, Bowe said, is the noise made by customers outside. Even if walls are built and soundproofing is added, cars and people talking will create a noise problem.

        calendar