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Waterville amphitheater developer answers top concerns about proposed music venue

WTOL asked community members on social media what questions and concerns they have for the developer. People who are for and against the amphitheater weighed in.

WATERVILLE, Ohio — The proposed amphitheater in Waterville continues to be a controversial topic. Residents and people in the surrounding area debating over whether it should be built at all.

WTOL 11 asked community members on social media what questions and concerns they have for the developer.

Hunter Brucks is the president and CEO of HB Concerts Inc. and HBC Management, one of the two groups working to bring the outdoor music venue to Waterville.

From the nearly 60 comments and questions posted on social media, the top questions involve: 

  • a sound study and the noise an outdoor amphitheater would bring
  • what events and music will be there
  • if the community will be able to use it
  • parking and traffic

The top concern is if the developers have done a sound study.

"We've done our own internal studies which we're prepared to release," Brucks said. "We did have an outside third-party study done by DBA out of Fort Wayne. I wanted an unbiased opinion, so we have that. We have that fully prepared to hand that to the council for the study and I think we're in good shape with that."

People also want to know what the developers plan to do about the noise.

Some even ask to put it underground more than what is already planned, but Brucks said that's not feasible.

"To go down underground 30 or 40 feet, I'm hearing, something like that. We're hitting water tables, we're getting huge drainage issues," he said. "You're adding another 10 to 15 million to the project, we're north of 20 (million) now."

Brucks said people in Mill Creek will be able to hear the events, but they have plans to help minimize how loud it is through landscaping, concession stands and other ways to help distort the sound to help lessen the impact for those who live nearby.

Aside from the noise, people are concerned about how the parking and traffic would be affected, especially since it would bring in more than 9,000 people.

"You're off the highway, you have two lanes in and we'll do a reverse situation after the show," Brucks said. "So on Pray Boulevard, you have three lanes. There are two lanes coming south, that's the ingress. It's the same from the reverse from the south on Pray, two lanes in and three-lane road continuous all the way out."

And what events will be there, and will the community be able to use amphitheater?

Brucks said there will be all kinds of events ranging from country music, to comedians, to magicians and more.

He also said he would love for community events to be held there, but they are in the business to make money.

"It doesn't survive and it doesn't succeed if we don't have the premise," he said. "That doesn't mean we can't support 501(c)(3)'s, we can't allow the high school graduations or big community celebrations to be part of it and come in for next to nothing. We have to run it as an operation."

Waterville City Council will do a second reading of the proposal at its next meeting on Oct. 10, which means the third reading and a possible vote will take place on Oct. 24.

Council is expecting a big turnout for the Oct. 24 meeting, so it's been moved up to 6 p.m. to allow time for public comment and will be held at Waterville Primary School.

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