Arena sound debate strikes chord at council

The city may be hearing the music in terms of sound quality in Western Financial Place.

The city may be hearing the music in terms of sound quality in Western Financial Place, as the Nov. 25 council meeting included discussions on the topic.

Coun. Gerry Warner referenced Townsman editor Barry Coulter’s column in the newspaper on Nov. 22 about the need for improvements to sound quality in Western Financial Place.

“Given the number of top rate concerts that are being attracted to Cranbrook … and given the dreadful acoustics in the place, a relatively cheap but effective solution to this might be the hanging of some kind of acoustic tiles,” Warner said. “That would really improve the sound quality and could be quite important from a revenue point of view, because we are attracting more concerts and the more concerts we get, the more revenue we have.”

That in turn would help the city pay off the mortgage on the complex, Warner added.

Wayne Staudt, city manager for Cranbrook, said staff has looked at some of those options before, but would review it with Leisure Services Director Chris New.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said that he had spoken briefly with New on the topic and it is included in the recreation complex’s five year plan.

“They may decide to bring it forward a little earlier — it wasn’t supposed to come forward for the next couple of years,” Stetski said. “I tend to agree with Coun. Warner. Given the really high degree of performers we have coming to Western Financial Place, it might be worth looking at sooner rather than later.”

Stetski said that would take place during budget talks.