Berks County District Attorney John Adams and the owner of The Silo have reached an agreement that will allow the nightclub to remain open, Adams said Friday.
The agreement, ordered by the judge and signed by both parties, is based on several conditions that must be carried out by The Silo's owner, Adams said.
Those conditions include installing metal detectors and ID scanners at the entrance to the nightclub in Bern Township; installing video surveillance cameras both inside and outside the nightclub; increasing the lighting in the parking lot and having two security guards on duty in the lot; placing certain signs leading patrons to the exits and prohibiting tailgating; and requiring last call to be at 1 a.m., with all patrons out of the club by 2 a.m., Adams said.
The timing for The Silo to comply with the agreement varies based on each condition, although most conditions must be met by September, Adams said.
Three more all-age shows are scheduled at The Silo. Once those take place, both sides, Adams said, will evaluate whether they will continue.
The case could have gone to trial following a pair of court hearings earlier this week. Adams said Bern Township police had been called to the nightclub more than 180 times for various incidents over the past few years, including a homicide in April 2007 and a triple shooting in April 2012.
Ruth Fick, who lives next to The Silo, said for the past five years it has been a problem.
"They used to come out here and stand in that corner, drink, beer cans and bottles in my yard," Fick said, "and I've been picking it up for years now."
She said her main issue was the violence.
"It was bad enough in 2007 when they killed somebody and then three people got shot," said Fick, "It's just a nuisance right now."
The police and the district attorney agreed and tried to shut it down. But after two court hearings they reached an agreement with the Silo instead.
"To continue to operate under certain conditions that will make this business a good neighbor," Adams said, "if not, I expect that we will be back in court and we will move to shut it down."
Maria Faust, the owner of The Silo, said she appreciates the opportunity to stay open, but she didn't think it was fair that this agreement sets up different rules for her nightclub compared to other venues in the area.
But she said she'll do whatever it takes to stay open.
Her neighbor, Fick, thinks it could work.
"Yes, if they stick by it," Fick said. "I don't want to see anybody lose their business, but they got to take care of it. That's all we ask."