The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Municipal Report: Noise aggravates neighbors in West Nantmeal


By Tory Lingg , For Journal Register News Svc

Monday, December 17, 2012

A petition signed by 17 residents presented to the West Nantmeal Supervisors at the Oct. 10 meeting was revisited as a topic during the December Board of Supervisors meeting. Local residents presented the petition in their effort to remedy what they described as a disturbance of the peace caused by excessive noise from target shooting at the Fantanarosa property at 126 Bollinger Road.
A resident said Fantanarosa has a shooting range with a back stop. There are times when the sound of shots is repetitive and other times when there is “just a pop now and then”. Residents have put up with it for 15 years. It used to be 10 to 14 times a year but this summer it happened five days in a row. They shoot hundreds of rounds. The resident said he does not have a problem with hunting because he hunts also.
Another nearby resident said this summer was unbelievable. He said he does not have a complaint if the target shooting only happens occasionally, but lately the shooting has been regular. He also said that heavy amounts of shooting has occurred “four or five” days in a row.
The resident who presented the petition said he talked to Fantanarosa about the problem. Lately there has been more shooting.
Township Attorney Kristin Camp said perhaps there is a location in the woods where the trees could create a buffer. The goal is not to have him stop shooting, but rather comply with the noise ordinance.
Zoning Officer Frank Newhams said he doubted that moving the shooting range further into the woods would deaden the noise. He did suggest putting some sound proofing materials inside the shed from which they shoot.
Newhams met with Fantanarosa on Wednesday, November 21, at his property. A decibel test was done at eight locations at the property boundary. For the sound tests a 12 gauge slug gun and 410 gauge hand gun were used. All but one of the eight tests using an Ex-Teck sound meter exceeded the sound limitation.
Newhams delivered his report dated December 8, 2012 from Yerkes Associates at the Dec.10 meeting, but had yet to discuss the results of the tests with Fantanarosa.
Chairman Gary Elston said Newhams should have a discussion with Fantanarosa about the results of the sound tests.
Camp agreed that Newhams should discuss the issues with Fantanarosa first. Then they would decide how to handle future complaints.
Most of the shooting is done from a garage behind his house according to Fantanarosa, but a neighbor said that is not the case.
The property was purchased in about 1993 and the shooing has been going on for about 20 years. Fantanarosa owns about 41 acres, some of which is wooded.
Lieut. Erin McGee, Commander of the Embreeville Barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police, addressed the audience and officials to update residents of happenings in the area. There were 22 calls to the State Police from West Nantmeal Township in November. Calls from West Nantmeal are only two percent of the total calls received at Embreeville. The State Police provide police services to 20 municipalities in Chester County. Previous to this appointment McGee was the Station Commander at Ephrata Barracks, which closed recently. He has served at seven locations in Montgomery, Lancaster and Chester Counties. But he is glad to be back in Chester County.
“If there is a need, please call us”, he said.
Elston mentioned speeding on Route 82, and Supervisor Nelson Beam thanked McGee for coming to the meeting.
Newhams said he looked into a noise complaint along Chestnut Tree Road from a machine which grinds out tree trunks. He was not able to find any problem there.
The budget for 2013 was approved.
Because of many scheduling conflicts, the Reorganization meeting will be held on Friday, January 11 at 3:30 p.m. The last meeting of 2012 will be on December 28 at 11 a.m. Municipal taxes will remain the same.
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