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All ears on Welcome to Rockville as city officials test noise levels

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Updated: 4/28/2013 1:07 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A lot is riding on how loud the Welcome to Rockville festival will be this year. Both city employees and sound engineers hired by the concert were out measuring noise levels Saturday after complaints from residents across the St. Johns River.

George Kruer has lived in the South Shores neighborhood for the past 25 years. According to him the thumping of the bass has become the real problem.

"There is no way to escape bass when bass comes in the house you can't. No television, a box fan, nothing will camouflage the bass," said Kruer.

Welcome to Rockville organizers say they are making sure the event doesn't draw to many ears this year.

"We're happy to report we are way under the decibel level that is expected of us for the show and we hope there will be no more problems moving forward," said Aaron Schachter, Programming Director of X102.9.

Jan Miller who lives right behind the St. Johns River on Holmesdale Road disagrees. She says Saturday morning she was awakened by the music.  So, she did some investigating of her own.

"It's not supposed to come over here past 65 decibels. What we were measuring went up to 98. That was the highest we heard so far," said Miller.

According to Councilman Don Redman, city employees will be out all weekend getting readings to try and see just how loud is too loud.

The fight over the noise level started earlier this year, when Redman wanted to ban all ticketed events from Metropolitan Park. Getting the readings is part of the research being done before the issue goes to a vote.

"From that we will determine what a maximum decibel limit should be that people have to live with and hopefully people will be happy with it," said Don Redman, Jacksonville City Councilman.

In the meantime concert organizers say they're doing everything they can to control the noise, including changing the lay out of the park to aim the stages away from the river.

Neighbors like Miller say that is not enough.

"There is another place for this loud stuff but it's not right there," said Miller.

According to Councilman Redman, in the next few weeks they will be monitoring another concert at Metropolitan Park. Once they have all those readings they'll present the findings to the city council.

A vote is not expected until at least the end of May.

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