BOA hears complaints, ideas on loud outdoor music venues

BOA hears complaints, ideas

on loud outdoor music venues

Ray Scherer

The Hermann Board of Aldermen on Monday night held the second workshop on the issue of excess sound emanating from the city's outdoor music venues.

In contrast to the first workshop, held Oct. 4, the second edition only drew a very small crowd of residents living in the vicinity of some of Hermann's outdoor music. Yet Mayor Bruce Cox was steadfast in striving for a second option, just for the residents, to express thoughts on the music and its impacts. The first workshop was largely attended by the operators of the venues themselves.

One resident, Dr. Robert Koerber, told the board he isn't opposed to the music.

"But too much of a good thing can sometimes be a problem," Koerber said. "It may be necessary for the board to get involved in this."

The former mayor said he's determined there are from 800 to 1,000 people who can hear the music in the area of the venues. He said he's learned the sound has traveled as far as the Hermann City Cemetery and all the way to McKittrick as well.

"I hope we can satisfy this without pitting people against people," said Koerber. "Decibel (measurements) aren't going to work....The easiest thing is to use distance."

He said he's willing to work with fellow citizens on a committee to derive solutions to the situation, to benefit businesses as well as residents.

"It's going to be difficult," Koerber told the BOA. "Eliminating music is not an option, in my opinion. The venues should only be playing for their customers."

Other towns rely on distance measurements as their yardstick in determining noise levels, according to Koerber.

Next, resident Nancy Satre read two letters from residents unable to attend the workshop, who referred to their displeasure at what they labeled as "amplified" music and increased traffic congestion on city streets.

Cox defended the response of police to the noise complaints.

"Sometimes, they don't have time to sit and listen to somebody," the mayor said. 

Hermann resident Betty Hartbauer asked where there isn't a noise ordinance on the books. Her husband, Chuck Hartbauer, said loud vehicles driving through the city pose a similar issue for quiet-loving citizens, and also bring pollution. He cautioned the board that an accident may be in the offing due to careless driving through Hermann.

Alderman Jim Schirmer addressed the upset residents.

"There are ordinances on the books that covers some of this," he told the upset residents. "We need to look into that," he added, noting that an ordinance may be necessary to control the noise levels.

Alderman Susan Lenger also spoke after the renditions of effects from the noise.

"Hang in there," she told the small group. "It takes time."