The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 25, 2013

Sound complaints discussed

MANKATO — Complaints over noise from Riverfront Park concerts echoing across the river got another hearing Monday, and North Mankato Mayor Mark Dehen came away satisfied that some progress had been made.

The changes were small -- some evergreens to absorb sound, an end to the music by 10 p.m. on weeknights and a promise to ask performers to keep the bass down -- but Dehen said they were good ideas.

Dehen said it was the deep bass, not the volume of the music, that had generated three or so complaints on his side of the river.

Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges said bodies tend to absorb sound, and the city would look at narrowing seating at its concerts so as to expose less sound-reflecting rock.

The city acknowledged, though, that it has less control over concerts it doesn't manage.

Hentges also said the city would perform sound tests at four locations -- two in each city -- prior to and during a show.

But Dehen said the decibel meters "may not be a solution to the problem" because it's the bass reverberating through homes, not merely the volume, that is generating complaints.

Mankato resident Mark Halverson, who joked before the meeting that he attended to "save rock 'n roll," cautioned the cities against overreacting just because a few people complained.

"It seems to be like there's not much of a problem here to start with," he said.

There was nothing wrong, however, with taking a few reasonable steps, he said.

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