Waterfront concert noise, odor complaints down

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 03, 2013, at 7:31 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor’s city manager and city police both said that Friday night’s concert featuring Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, with opening artist Kix Brooks, went relatively smoothly.

Fewer than a dozen people were asked to leave the venue because they were visibly intoxicated but no one was arrested, Sgt. Bob Bishop said Saturday. He also said there were no noise complaints during the concert, which was disputed by one Bangor resident.

Also on Saturday, City Manager Cathy Conlow said she received one call from a resident who told her he could hear the music, though it wasn’t officially a complaint.

With regard to odor, it appears the steps the city took to address the smell caused by poor drainage are working.

Conlow said she walked the waterfront concert venue Friday night and could not detect any objectionable odor.

In addition, the Bangor Daily News concert reviewer indicated the smell had abated.

Maine saw one of the rainiest Junes in its recorded weather history, and the downpours have continued into July and early August.

The “organic composition of the loam and sod,” once heavily saturated by water, created the odor, which was “unpleasant” but never “toxic or unsafe,” said Tracy Willette, director of parks and recreation.

On Tuesday, crews from Gardner Construction, general contractor on the project, began scraping up the saturated sod, loam and dirt at the venue and trucking it away. They will lay down more drainage before laying down a new surface.

“It worked. Everything seems to be draining very well,” Conlow said, adding, “with all this rain, it’s going to be muddy.”

Conlow also said she “drove all over town” doing unofficial noise checks. Among the places she visited were Harlow Street, the Little City neighborhood and Fairmount Park.

“I heard it a little bit in Little City but the freeway was louder,” she said.

Also helping is that Alex Gray, Waterfront Concert Series’ promoter, has compromised with the city on some things, such as an earlier ending time for the recent Lil Wayne concerts, Conlow said.

Michael Alpert of Highland Avenue said Sunday that he called the police department’s non-emergency line to lodge a noise complaint at about 9 p.m.

“I am sure I was not alone in calling either the non-emergency police number or the Parks and Recreation Department voice-mail number,” he wrote in an email to the Bangor Daily News.

“Unfortunately, many Bangor residents feel that they can do nothing to retrieve their [formerly] peaceful summer nights, no matter how outraged they may be,” he continued. “The excessive-sound problem is not complex or unsolvable. There is a compromise possible so that the concerts can continue with a maximum sound level that will not disturb thousands of Bangor’s residents. I hope that the city manager and the council will be responsive to the legitimate concerns of their constituency.”

Friday’s concert drew at least 12,000 to the Bangor Waterfront.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/08/03/news/bangor/waterfront-concert-noise-odor-complaints-down/ printed on December 22, 2014