Marine Park residents push to drown out church bells

MARINE PARK - Neighbors of a Marine Park church complain they're losing sleep over the constant tolling of bells.

A longtime homeowner says the problem started in November 2006 when St. Thomas Aquinas installed a new system and began ringing its bells hourly from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. He claims the church also uses four gigantic speakers to amplify the sound.

Neighbors say they've contacted the diocese, Community Board 18 and the 63rd Precinct to no avail. They are currently collecting signatures for a petition and plan to ask the City Council to void the church's exemption from a new noise ordinance.

In a newsletter, the church pastor wrote the bells only ring at 75 percent of their maximum volume.

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