Morton church, neighborhood still trying to solve noise problem

By Chad Weber

December 9, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:14 AM CDT

MORTON, Ill. -- It's Sunday morning at Elevate Church.

The church's identity rings loud and clear, through it s music and worship.

"The thing is, is that we have a specific type of worship here at Elevate," said Leadership Team Member Kipp Bolt. "We feel that it is relevant and current to the people that come to Elevate. We are a church for 'unchurch' people to find life in Jesus and we feel like the type of worship we have is relevant to that mission."

But it is the loudness of the message has drawn attention from neighbors who say they can hear it from their house.

Last Monday, the Morton village board unanimously revised the town's decades-old noise ordinance in favor of a more modern ruling of the code.

Under that code, what's considered unreasonably loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noises are banned, and violators are subject to fines.

Church members say they have been working with the neighborhood since the complaints started.

"We've made sure our practices are at reasonable hours so that we're not being disruptive at an early morning hour or the very late hours," said band member T.J. Syndram. "We make sure the volumes are kept at a much lower level at the practices. The sub woofer is now underneath the stage, it used to be flying from the ceiling. We have a number of acoustic isolation panels throughout the sanctuary that you will see. We continue to have sound analysis come in and tell us the best ways that we can eliminate the noise outside the building."

Neighbors we spoke with off camera said they could still hear the music from their houses.

The church plans to meet with neighbors again next week after noise improvements wrap up.

"We just hope we'll find a peaceful resolution with them," said Kipp Bolt. "We don't feel as a church that it is unreasonable in either time or duration but we hope the stage as well as other things the church is doing will completely eliminate any issues the neighbors may perceive.

The new ordinance won't officially go into effect for another month or two.

Elevate Church could be fined if a peaceful resolution is not met, something both sides hope to work out in harmony.

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