Bay has growing pains as businesses turn up the music

Bay has growing pains as businesses turn up the music

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Along with growth in Bay St. Louis, comes problems.

Residents are complaining about the loud live music from some of the bars and restaurants in the downtown district. But while some think the noise is the sound of irritation, others think it's the sound of success.

Ann Hager lives just 100 feet from a bar on the northern end Demontluzin Street. At first, she loved walking over and enjoying a pizza and cold beer at The Ugly Pirate. But now that the bar has introduced a live band, her mood has gotten ugly.

"I hear the repercussion, the boom, boom, boom, in my house," Hager said. "I can sing along with the singer. I can hear every word that she's saying in the rooms on the far side of my house, and this goes on for four hours."

Since the city does not have a noise ordinance, Hager has filed a disturbing the peace complaint in hopes of stopping the problem. If she wins, it could carry a $500 penalty, six months in jail, or both.

But down at the other end of the street, Nikki Moon, owner of The Bay Town Inn - which that also serves as her home - says the noise is ok with her and ok for her business.

"My guests come here for peace and quiet, and they enjoy the town and the comfort they get here," Moon said. "But they also like to go out in the evening and they like the loud music. So, I think we've come to a balance."

John Ohman, also a resident on the street on the north end of the entertainment area, is for a noise ordinance but the music doesn't bother him too much.

"I generally tell people my problem with it is that I wish they had better bands," said Ohman.

Mayor Les Fillingame says a noise ordinance would be difficult to enforce, and that the best option is to negotiate and compromise.

"What we're hoping going forward is that we can come to a point where the businesses, the community is willing to self-regulate," noted Fillingame.

The Blind Tiger owner Thomas Genin agrees the problems should be addressed, but says the answers need to be sensible.

"It is good business to be good neighbors," Genin said. "But it's also good business to promote what you are. And downtown Bay St. Louis, since I was a young child, has always had places to go late and early into the morning."

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