PORTLAND, Maine — The government is listening. The local government, that is.
Using more than a dozen sound monitoring devices installed throughout Portland, the city has begun gathering data that it will use to review local noise regulations.
But the devices don’t record actual audio, only sound levels, the city said.
The devices were installed after years of noise complaints from East End and Peaks Island residents, who hear music drifting from the frequent concerts at the Maine State Pier, and from downtown hotel and business owners, who are perturbed by raised voices and loud music coming from bars.
“While the impetus for collecting this data derived from noise in the Old Port and concerts, the devices will allow the city to get a baseline for all daily activities that produce noise,” city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said in a statement.
Last December, when the City Council approved a new season of shows at the State Pier, councilors also suggested they would like to do real-time sound monitoring to make sure that the city’s noise limits are appropriate, the Portland Press Herald reported.
Over the next three months, the city will use the 13 sound monitoring devices to gather information that will eventually be developed into a report to be presented to the city council’s health and human services committee for discussion.
The city paid $50,000 to a consulting company, Acentech, to install the devices and write up the eventual report, Grondin said. The sound equipment will ultimately be returned to the company, she said.