Council agenda details loud music, street excavation, progress on multi-family housing

City Council is expected tonight to review an entertainment ordinance proposed by Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

The ordinance would permit music to be on speakers and live bands to perform outside buildings in specified cordoned-off areas from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and weekends. Police would monitor the noise levels and respond to any complaints.

It’s council’s first reading of the ordinance.

After meeting with downtown business owners, Campana said he wanted three separate entertainment districts to bring in added economic development opportunities to the city and improving quality of life for those seeking a night out.

The zones would be in the Central Business District, along Washington Boulevard and on areas of Arch and surrounding streets in Newberry.

Gary Knarr, city zoning officer, said he will have to first petition the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a waiver and the board would hold three public hearings regarding the proposed districts. Knarr said he anticipated the ordinance to be effective by the spring.

Council also has a first reading on an amendment to a street excavation ordinance that would require utilities to pay for repairs when they make cuts in streets for up to five years.

Council also is expected to approve contractors’ changes in the cost to clean up asbestos at the former Brodart warehouse on Memorial Avenue. The site is to become a multi-housing development called Memorial Homes.

The groundbreaking for 40 apartments is scheduled for Nov. 14.

The contractors’ changes don’t deviate from what the anticipated budget and the city has $1.3 million in a grant to use for paying the cleanup to be done, said John Grado, city engineer and director of community and economic development.