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Hanover considering noise ordinance over propane cannon

Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson

HANOVER — The town attorney in Hanover has been tasked with creating a noise ordinance after use of a propane cannon resulted in complaints from local residents.

The request was made this week during a meeting of the Hanover Town Board.

Town Supervisor Todd Johnson called upon the town attorney, Jeffrey Passafaro, to create a noise ordinance regarding the ongoing use of propane cannons by a resident to attempt to scare away beavers from damming up his creek, according to some residents.

“We need to be looking at enacting and proposing a new law for a noise ordinance and nuisance disturbance,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we can get this in place to where we can vote and put a law in place by the end of June.”

The cannons have been an ongoing issue with the town of Hanover and its residents. Starting in August 2019, the farmer had been using two propane cannons during grape season to scare away deer from his grape crop. Residents have taken issue with the cannons, noting that they are run throughout the night, averaging about a minute apart. Most said they cannot sleep, and some who have PTSD, have gone into the hospital because of the effect the cannons are having on their mental health.

File Photo Pictured are children in the 2019 Hanover Recreation program. There will not be a rec program this summer.

“I’ve had to drug my dog due to it. She will never be the same happy-go-lucky dog she was,” said area resident Laurie Josephson Franklin. “She used to love going for walks. Now I fight to get her to go outside at all.”

Residents have been calling the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, but several have been told that the town must have a noise ordinance in place for them to be able to do anything about it. The town originally thought they would have the whole summer to work on passing a new noise ordinance, since grape season does not start until August, but the farmer started firing the cannons again about three weeks ago. After the rally that was held about two weeks ago, the cannons started firing off every 15 seconds, according to Chad Alford.

“He is behaving in an obviously belligerent way,” said Alford.

Passafaro agreed to come up with a final version of the law by the next meeting, June 8, at 7:30 p.m., so a public hearing can be held on that day.

In other news, the Hanover Recreation Program has been canceled for 2020. The Hanover Youth Recreation program means a lot to the communities of Silver Creek and Hanover, Johnson said. It is a program where “wholesome recreation and cultural activities are offered for the community’s youth, promoting welfare and encouragement in a constructive and healthy environment.”

“Unfortunately, we have to have a motion and second to cancel the recreation program for this summer,” Johnson said. The motion was carried unanimously.

Johnson explained that the funds will not be used for anything else and will be kept in the budget. He said the purpose of keeping the funds handy is to have them available in case restrictions loosen before summer ends or, if not, the funds will be available for next year to make the program “bigger and better than ever.”

The beach in Hanover will not be maintained, in the sense that there will be no lifeguards on-duty and the bathhouse will not be open. Johnson explained that the beach will be open and regularly cleaned, but swimmers and sunbathers must do so at their own risk.

“At this time I do caution everybody — please, social distance. Let’s keep that six foot distance, wear a mask, and also let’s clean our hands frequently and use hand sanitizer,” Johnson said. “This is the only way we can combat COVID-19”

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