Residents ask council for help with noise issue

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Three Farmville residents appeared before Town Council last week asking for some help getting a decent night’s sleep.

The three residents of the Randolph Street area all complained about the late-night music emanating from the North Street Press Club. They said the sounds were keeping them and their families from sleeping and asked the council for help.

Jonathan Gray of Randolph Street, a father of four children all under 5 years old, said there are times when the noise from the North Street Press Club goes past midnight, making it difficult for his family to rest peacefully.

“My wife stays home with our children, but as someone who works and goes to work early, it’s an issue that I would like to see addressed,” Gray said.

Stacey Barden, also of Randolph Street, told the council the music coming from the Press Club is “extremely loud.”

“I understand, play your music, have a good time, make your money and your revenue, but people have got to sleep. We get up early,” he said. “Just get them to tone it down or whatever they have to do.”

Floyd Duffey, who has appeared before Town Council on several different occasions asking for help with the noise, said he has called the police department 40 times about the issue. He said the police department has not been able to resolve the situation to his satisfaction.

“If this mess was in y’all’s backyard, it wouldn’t be happening, but since it is in our backyard, y’all don’t give a hoot,” he told the council. “I get tired of coming over here and talking to you all. It’s like talking to a bunch of knots on a rotten log.”

Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington said the noise issue with the Press Club, particularly with Duffey, is longstanding.

“We have met with the Press Club on several occasions,” Ellington said. “They (the Press Club) have worked vigorously trying to eliminate the noise problem that has been a concern of Mr. Duffey. They have spent thousands of dollars insulating the windows around the building, insulating the roof on top of the building to try to keep the noise from bands encaptured inside the building. To everything they have done, nothing seems to appease Mr. Duffey.”

Ellington said the Press Club even offered to insulate the windows and doors of Duffey’s house to soundproof them and he refused.

Duffey said he refused the offer because he cools and heats his house through two large window units. He said his house is 100 years old and insulating the windows would not solve the problem of the sound coming through what he termed “paper thin” walls.

Ellington said of the seven noise complaints the department has received since April, six of them have come from Duffey.

The noise ordinance adopted by the town in December of 2019 prohibits the type of music and noise the residents say they are hearing from the North Street Press Club past midnight on Thursdays through Saturday night. The time moves to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Wednesday nights.

“The playing of any music or other noise, whether electronically or otherwise, in such a manner or with such volume or duration, particularly during the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. the following day, Sunday through Wednesday, and midnight and 7a.m. the following day, Thursday through Saturday, as to be plainly audible through the walls of an enclosed dwelling, business or other structure,” the ordinance reads.

Ellington said the Press Club adapted to the new ordinance after it was approved in December of 2019.

“They are having bands come in earlier so that they are done by midnight on the weekend nights,” Ellington said.

Ellington said he is setting up a meeting between Gray and the owners of the Press Club to discuss the issues he complained about to Town Council.

“We want to resolve the issue, but this is a tough one,” Ellington said, explaining this has been an ongoing situation ever since the Press Club opened. “You happen to live on the edge of a business district. You are in a college town… You can expect some noise, especially in a college town, and you live right out the back door of a restaurant.”

Attempts to reach North Street Press Club owner Nash Osborne for his comments on the issue were unsuccessful by press time.