Hearing about camp noise delayed

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BENNINGTON — A hearing on the town's motion seeking a contempt order against the operators of a summer camp on the former Southern Vermont College campus has been postponed to Aug. 5 in Bennington Superior Court Civil Division.

While the hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon was postponed at the request of the camp, a status conference in the case was held before Judge Cortland Corsones, with attorneys Merrill Bent, for the town, and Carl Lisman, for the camp and its director, Moshe Perlstein, participating in a teleconference.

Bent has filed a motion asking the judge to find the camp for Orthodox Jewish youth in contempt for failing to adhere to conditions in prior court orders regarding loud noise emanating from the former college campus. The motion was filed after an apparent court-approved agreement July 23 to limit amplified music and voices at night was allegedly violated two days later. On July 25, the "defendants violated it in astonishing fashion," Bent wrote.

After the three-week camp for about 350 girls from the New Jersey-New York City area opened on July 5, neighbors had repeatedly complained of loud amplified music and voices, apparently coming from a large tent on the site.

Perlstein has said the camp was loud into the night on July 25 primarily because the girls were leaving that night to make way for a like number of boys coming for a second three-week camp experience the following day. He said the camp is working to move assemblies inside the former SVC sports center and installing air conditioning there.

On Thursday, Corsones asked the attorneys to prepare and exchange witness lists and exhibits for the pending evidentiary hearing on the contempt motion, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m..

Bent has said that, because of repeated noise issues and complaints, the town "requests that the court issue an order forbidding the defendants from conducting any summer camp activities on the property, effectively immediately, and order defendants to pay the town the expenses of suit, including its attorneys' fees."

Perlstein and Camp Southern Vermont, LLC, are listed as defendants in the suit filed by the town. The Vermont-based limited-liability corporation has replaced Zichron Chaim Inc., which formerly was listed as the camp's operator.

Jim Therrien writes for New England Newspapers in Southern Vermont, including the Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and Manchester Journal. Twitter: @BB_therrien



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