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Decibel limit debate draws dozens to town meeting
Updated on: 05.02.13

Consistency, vision -- and more volume -- are what attendees of tonight's town council meeting asked of the board.

About 50 people made good on their Facebook promises to attend the meeting, to talk about decibel limits on outdoor music. Many of them were fans of or performers in the Big Woods Brewing Co. Rally in the Alley concert series -- which, Big Woods co-owner Jeff McCabe announced last week, will no longer be staged.

Last week, McCabe and his partners received a certified letter from town administration laying out eight conditions under which a rally planned for Saturday, May 4 could occur. Among them was a sound pressure limit of 80 db. Town council President Bob Kirlin said that measurement would be taken from Van Buren Street, a block away from where the music was being played in the alley. The decibel limit was added, he said, because all five council members agreed that the St. Patrick's Day rally was excessively loud.

McCabe and his partners rejected the conditions and decided to cancel the May 4 rally. Over the past three years of rallies, featuring live, local music and Big Woods beer, more and more conditions have been placed upon Big Woods, McCabe explained at tonight's town council meeting. The decibel limit, he said, was "the straw that broke the camel's back."

Some meeting attendees -- several of them local musicians -- feared that if decibel limits were placed on all outdoor events, that would inhbit Nashville from selling itself as a funloving, artistic destination.

Kirlin said he planned to look at each special event individually. Meeting attendees also saw that as a problem.

"The fairness issue is what I'm looking at," said Daniel Webb. "... You just said the Taste of Brown County is not going to be measured. That's not fair.

"... We need these," Webb said about events like the Rally in the Alley concert series, which packs hundreds of locals and visitors into a half-block of Mollys Lane four times a year. "... I think they're personally cool. ... We want money in this community, and we need events like this to help it grow," he said, drawing applause from the crowd.

Ten people spoke about enabling more events like the rallies. They ranged in age from young-30s county natives, musicians and music lovers, to a new Nashville resident who described her age as "25 times two and a little bit more."

"These people here are a lot younger than I am, and they're going to take over this town. ... These are the people who are going to keep this town going and be the future here,"  said Eleanor Piper, who moved to Nashville for its art background.

"... This is not Nashville 50 years ago," she said. "It isn't. It won't be. It'll never be again. ... Let's get people into this town. It's a wonderful place, and everybody should be working together."

No one opposed to outdoor music events in town spoke at this meeting, but some were in the audience.

Kirlin asked McCabe to go down the list of event conditions and state which ones Big Woods could and couldn't live with. The council, he said, could decide to place no restrictions on the event, having done some further research about sound pressure since the last meeting. But McCabe said he'd prefer to talk through the situation outside of a public forum -- or in any manner other than through a certified letter.

Any talking, though, won't happen before Saturday, when the Rally in the Alley had been scheduled after the Spring Blossom Parade. McCabe said Big Woods has decided instead to do a "tap takeover" at Chapman's in Bloomington that day, selling the beer out of county that it might have sold at the Nashville rally.

"I think, in the past, we have been trying to make everyone happy, which does not work," town councilman Arthur Omberg offered after the meeting. "I hope, going forward, we can have a set of guidelines for live music that would be fair and standard for these types of events so that everyone would know what to expect."

This story will be updated for the May 8 Brown County Democrat.

Read the story from the April 18 meeting by clicking here.

-- Sara Clifford, Brown County Democrat

Obituaries
See Full List »

Carol Ann Spencer-Thomas, 73, Brown County
  Wife of Charles R. Thomas of Brown County

Robert 'Bob' F. Melton, 80, Brown County
  Husband of Annabelle Melton of Brown County

The Rev. John S. Honeay, 89, Greenwood
  Member of Unity Baptist Church and father of Barbara Ranard (Harvey) of Brown County

  • February 1
    'Wild' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • February 2
    Gnaw Bone Sewage District
    5:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 3
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 3
    Open 12-step meetings in New Bellsville area
    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • February 3
    Bean Blossom Regional Sewer Board
    7:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 3
    Women's Bible study offered
    1 to 3 p.m. Cornerstone Inn, 54 E. Franklin St.
  • February 4
    Lake Lemon Conservancy District annual meeting
    6 p.m. Benton Township Senior Center, 7616 E. State Road 45, Unionville
  • February 4
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • February 4
    Van Buren Township Advisory Board
    7 p.m. Van Buren trustee's office, 4748 Christianburg Road
  • February 4
    BC Emergency Management Advisory Council
    8 a.m. Ambulance Base, 53 State Road 46 East
  • February 5
    Go Club meeting Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 5
    Jackson Township Board
    6 p.m. Jackson Fire Station, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • February 6
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • February 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 7
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • February 7
    Karaoke at sports bar
    8 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • February 7
    Cabin Fever Concert features local music
    7 to midnight The Seasons Lodge, 560 State Road 46 East
  • February 9
    Washington Township Trustees
    7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • February 9
    Reservation deadline for Valentine's tea at local shop
    Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St., Suite C, Coachlight Square
  • February 10
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • February 10
    Van Buren Fire Department
    6 p.m. Van Buren Fire Station, 4040 State Road 135 South
  • February 10
    Peaceful Valley Heritage Preservation Society meeting set
    6:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • February 10
    BC Genealogical Society meeting slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • February 11
    East Hill Cemetery meeting slated
    7 p.m. Morgantown Community Center, 269 W. Washington St.
  • February 12
    BC Convention & Visitors Commission
    8:30 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • February 13
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • February 13
    Daddy-daughter Valentine's dance Friday the 13th
    6:30 p.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St., Suite C, Coachlight Square
  • February 14
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • February 17
    Hamblen Trustee Board annual review
    6:30 p.m. 2314 Hickory Ridge Lane off Hornettown Road
  • February 19
    Woodlands project dinner, meeting slated
    6 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • February 20
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 7
    Meet 'Wilderness Plots' author at the library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 8
    'Wilderness Plots'-themed concert planned
    4 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • March 8
    Brown County bridal tour slated
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m. various locations
  • March 10
    Soil & water conservation district to celebrate 62 years
    6 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • March 21
    Venders needed for Jackson TFD yard sale
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jackson Township Fire Department, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • April 26
    County history center dedication slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould