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Brick HS band, neighbors reach agreement over noise complaints

An agreement between Brick Memorial High School and some of its neighbors appears to have ended a dispute that temporarily blocked the school’s marching band from practicing in the school parking lot.

Brick Memorial High School
Brick Memorial High School (Google Street View)

Brick Mayor John Doocey, who attended Wednesday night’s practice to show his support for the band, said Brick Police Chief Nils Bergquist mediated the settlement between the band and the neighbors.

Brick Patch reports neighbors along Alexander Avenue have complained for the past several years about the band’s evening practices.  School Superintendent Walter Uszenski thought the issue had been resolved by rotating practice between the football field and the parking lot. “They’re not supposed to practice in the same spot every day,” Uszenski told Patch.

Bergquist, on the police department’s Facebook page, blamed a “miscommunication” between the band and neighbors for the latest complaints. Uszenski said they resulted from the band having to practice in the parking lot a second consecutive day when the football field was hosting a scrimmage.

Police came to Tuesday evening’s Marching Mustang practice, took noise measurements  and found that the band exceeded the township’s noise ordinance with a level over 50 decibels. Violation of the ordinance can cause an event to be shut down.

Parents had taken to social media to air their concerns about the situation. We feel like we’re second-class citizens. We’re being told we can’t practice, we’re making too much noise. It’s a marching band. It’s not noise, it’s music,” band parent Joe Zurlo told NBC 4 New York.

If there’s another scheduling conflict in the future, Uszenski told Patch, “I have phone numbers now so we can call them [neighbors] and let them know.”

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