Oct 1, 2014 5:50 PM
PORTSMOUTH - A summer-long debate over noise in Portsmouth could finally be coming to an end. The city council plans to meet with concerned residents regarding the noise issues throughout the city. One of them being the Prescott Park Arts Festival.
"That's the big question. What is too loud?" said City Councilor Jack Thorsen.
That has been the question in Portsmouth's South End all summer long. The Prescott Park Arts Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary, but this year was different; the number of noise complaints started to grow.
"There's always been some complaints. We are an active festival in an active downtown area," said the festival's Executive Director, Ben Anderson.
When the festival decided to cancel a double-feature movie night, many residents raised their voices.
"There's been complaints throughout the summer, even when noise is fine up until 11 PM, they're getting complaints at 9 PM," said Jasmine Hunter, a representative from Keep Portsmouth Loud.
But there's no law that says how loud an event can be in the park.
"[The] business district has a noise limit of 60 decibels until nine o'clock. Prescott Park has no noise limit," said Thorsen.
Many were concerned the festival would be cancelled altogether.
"The festival serves a really integral role here in the community and for the entire state...so we definitely felt nervous and worried," said Anderson.
But city officials said that's not even an option.
"I've not heard one person say we need to get rid of the arts festival... A concern that citizens have come forward with is how do we keep the arts, how do we support the arts, how do we make sure that the arts can take place in our community, in our city?" said City Councilor Esther Kennedy.
The meeting is Thursday night at 6:30 in the Eileen Dondero Foley Council Chambers.
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