Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Music pavilion work picks up pace

Construction hours extended to get back on schedule

The new music pavilion being built at Sun Valley Resort, above, is scheduled to be complete by early August. Photo by

After a January of heavy snowfall hampered construction on Sun Valley Co.'s new music pavilion, the city has agreed to allow work outside of the times permitted by municipal code.

At a Sun Valley City Council meeting Thursday, March 20, project architect Nicholas Latham explained that work must be accelerated to meet the scheduled first Sun Valley Summer Symphony performance on Aug. 3.

"We lost several weeks in January because of the weather," Latham said. "However, we're still hoping to occupy the building by the first of August."

To this end, Latham requested that the code governing allowable construction times be amended until Sept. 30 or the certificate of occupancy has been issued, whichever comes first.

The Noise Pollution chapter of the city code allows construction to take place between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. It does not permit building on Sunday.

However, the council unanimously approved Latham's plan, which permits construction on the pavilion site 24 hours a day, every day of the week, but with varying noise restrictions.

On Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., workers can make "high noise impact," which is defined as normal construction noise produced from heavy equipment, jackhammers and high numbers of personnel.

From 8-11 p.m., moderate noise is allowed, meaning mostly hand tools, electric saws and light forklift work, as well as tower lights to illuminate areas on the site. For the rest of the night, low-impact noise is permitted, meaning the operation of hand tools only within the interior of the building.

The three categories of noise restrictions will be in place for weekends as well, but the hours will differ. On Saturdays, the high noise level will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the moderate from 8-10 p.m., and the low throughout the remainder of the night.

Sundays will allow high noise impact from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and low noise levels for every other time during the day.

"We should get this done as expeditiously as possible and open on time," Councilwoman Joan Lamb said in support of the code amendment.

Her sentiment was echoed by Councilman Dewayne Brisco, who also expressed concern over the economic harm that could result if the symphony has to cancel events.

"We all saw what happened to Ketchum when Wagon Days was canceled," Briscoe said. "I have spoken with a number of residents around the project and they all want to see it completed as soon as possible."

Joe Keon, a resident on neighboring West Lake Road, said that in addition to wishing the construction to be completed straightaway, he would like the contractors to look for a way to mitigate the amount of water and silt flowing onto his property from the site. Interim City Administrator Jerry Osterman said he will assist Keon in getting that matter resolved.

In other Sun Valley Council news:

· Mayor Wayne Willich applauded Capt. Ray Franco, who was appointed assistant chief of the Sun Valley Fire Department. Willich said Franco will be busy making sure the department's new fire engine is built to specifications.

· The council also looked to improve communication with the public by approving the purchase of software that will allow audio files of both council and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings to be put online. The files will be indexed to give members of the public the opportunity to listen to desired portions of the meetings. There is also the possibility of adding a video component in the future.

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