The Mill's general manager said he is taking steps to address the complaints.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
AUSTINTOWN -- Another mill is beginning to thrive in the Mahoning Valley, much to the chagrin of some local residents.
The Mill, a nightclub that opened in March on South Raccoon Road, is drawing between 5,000 and 6,000 people each week for drinks, dancing and concerts, according to club General Manager Christian Rinehart. The club is open until 2:30 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
"It's just a very big disturbance," said Linda Monk of Laurie Drive, behind the Mill.
Another Laurie Drive resident, Dorothy Dombrowski, said she can feel the bass from the club's speakers while she lies in bed at night.
"Boom, boom, boom. That's what you hear in your head," she said.
Complaints: Monk and three other residents of the neighborhood complained to township police July 18 about noise from a pro wrestling event in the parking lot. Police warned Rinehart that the Mill's owners could be fined at least $1,000 if other local residents complain about noise from the club in the future.
"It was awful. Everybody's ears were ringing, and you just wanted to scream," Dombrowski said.
Florence Alexander, a Laurie Drive resident for 26 years, said the wrestling event "really was in poor taste." She said the wrestling promoter shouted obscenities into a microphone, and as a result, the obscenities were broadcast into her neighborhood.
"I don't think that's the right thing to show the kids," Alexander said.
Steps taken: Rinehart said he does not want to quarrel with the residents. He added that he is insulating doors and removing some bass speakers in an effort to reduce the noise.
In addition, Rinehart said he will not hold any alcohol-related events outside of the club. He said that the club was rented to a promoter for the wrestling show and that he didn't know the event would be outside until five days before it was to be held.
"I'm here to be a part of the community," Rinehart said. "We're willing to do whatever they want or need, except move."
Toning it down: Laurie Drive resident Denice Stiner said she knows The Mill isn't going to move. She said she would like to see the nightclub either "tone it down, or turn into a restaurant."
The building that houses the Mill has served as the site of other nightclubs in the past, including Club 1743 and the Silver Dollar Saloon.
Township Police Chief Gordon Ellis said he gave Rinehart copies of the township and state noise ordinances two days after the wrestling event. The ordinances say clubs and bars that create "unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise" affecting the "health, safety and peaceful enjoyment" in nearby neighborhoods can be fined $1,000. Police are responsible for deciding what is unnecessary noise.
Canceled event: Ellis also said he called Forum Health in late July after learning The Mill was to be the site of a nonalcoholic benefit for Tod Children's Hospital on July 29. The event was to include an outdoor carnival and an indoor concert. Ellis said he wanted to know if Forum Health had the permits to hold the event outside.
Forum Health officials thought they didn't have the necessary permits, according to company spokeswoman Evonne Woloshyn.
"At that point we made a decision that we wouldn't be associated with the event," Woloshyn said. The event was canceled July 25.
But Rinehart said he had the permits. He also said that another pro wrestling event will be inside the facility Aug. 18 and that the club also will be the site of several concerts in the near future.
The alternative rock band Red Wanting Blue is to play at the club tonight.
Action: Meanwhile, some of the Laurie Drive residents have said they may ask the township trustees to take action against The Mill.
"You have to pull together, you have to bond together. It's worth fighting for," Monk said.
Township Trustee Jeff Groat said, however, that he has talked to Ellis about the club and that "everything's been done that we can do until the next event occurs."