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Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials conducting sound checks on lakefront

Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:03 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

Residents living near Lake Charles might have noticed the sound of music originating from the northern shoreline Thursday.

The music was used as part of a sound check conducted by Mardi Gras Boardwalk officials, who wanted to observe the effects the music could have on the community.

The developers plan to build an outdoor amphitheater on the nine acres of land where a multimillion-dollar entertainment facility is to be built.

Sound technicians and a police officer were the instrumental members of a team that gauged the music, which was amplified to 100 decibels.

City law only allows noise to be amplified to 90 decibels. Motorcycles and lawn mowers can generate sound at that level. Rock concerts, blow dryers, subways, helicopters and chain saws are normally gauged at 100 decibels.

“We wanted to determine what the effect is at increased decibels,” Mardi Gras Boardwalk spokesman Gary Dickson told the American Press. “The music was measured at the property’s edge to see how far out the sound traveled.”

District F City Councilman Dana Jackson attended the first sound check that occurred in the afternoon. He said the test group went to different locations along the lakeshore and River Road.

“I didn’t see much change in the sound levels. The noise on Interstate 10 is at 80-85 decibels,” he said. “You could hear the music on River Road, but it was not any louder than what was coming from the interstate.”

Jackson said an ordinance is being researched — and could eventually be submitted for City Council approval — to label the area open for commercial development along the lakefront an entertainment district.

That would allow music levels to be higher than in other parts of the city.

“What we would probably do is change the decibel level to 100,” Jackson said. “The whole lakefront would get that designation because we don’t want to give anybody an unfair advantage.”

Additional sound checks will occur today along the lakefront.

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