Eagle park neighbors want town to turn down concert volume
August 13, 2017
EAGLE — Eagle's popular ShowDown Town concert series at Eagle Town Park concluded its season this past week, but before it returns in 2018, some of the park neighbors want to see some significant changes.
Namely, they want the volume turned down — way down.
Resident Kay Guffey presented the concerns to members of the Eagle Town Board on Tuesday night.
"I just have sympathy for people who have lived around that park for decades when it has been quiet," Guffey said.
From her residence in Upper Kaibab, Guffey said she can clearly hear the music and the concert crowd noise.
"I have gone down two blocks (from the park), and I could hear every word people are saying," she said. "In my opinion, if it's in the park, you should keep the noise in the park."
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That's not possible, said Eagle Special Events coordinator Jeremy Gross. He noted the science of sound means music and crowd noise will filter out from the site. However, Gross said he has been methodically testing the decibel levels at ShowDown Town, and the records show that the event is meeting the town's special events noise regulation — a maximum of 80 decibels measured at the nearest property line.
Gross also stressed that the impact is limited to nine evenings a year — seven ShowDown Town concerts and two nights during Eagle Flight Days.
"What I can tell you is that, hopefully, the concerts aren't going away," Gross said. "We can try to do better at keeping the impact in the park."
Members of the Eagle Town Board said they wanted to be respectful of the neighborhood, but voiced strong support for the concert events.
"I absolutely adore the concerts in the park," said town board member Kevin Brubeck. "This is certainly one of our bigger events."
He noted, however, that ShowDown Town is largely a social gathering and suggested perhaps the music volume could be reduced.
Town board member Andy Jessen countered that the 80-decibel level at the property line is already restrictive.
"The decibel level in this room is probably 70," Jessen said. That assertion was then confirmed by a measurement from the audience.
"It's important to recognize that (Eagle Town Park) is a community asset," Jessen said. He argued that it's only fair that during nine evenings a year, community members get to enjoy the asset they pay for.
Other town board members noted that in the past, the park was heavily used for softball league play, which was more disruptive to the neighborhood because it involved more evening use, as well as lighted fields.
"Eagle Town Park has been used for public events, with and without amplified sound, for decades," said Mayor Anne McKibbin.