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Waterville residents debate possible amphitheater: 'Not in my backyard'

Residents said the outdoor music venue would bring unwanted noise, while businesses said it would boost revenue.

WATERVILLE, Ohio — The idea of an amphitheater is dividing Waterville.

City council held a planning meeting Monday night in which public comment was scheduled. However, due to the large crowd stretching capacity limits, the meeting was postponed until a larger venue could be found.

"The city of Waterville can't even plan for a planning meeting," resident Adam Freeman said.

The majority of residents at the meeting said they were opposed to the outdoor music space, saying it undercuts the quiet quality of the city.

"There's a reason I moved out here," Freeman said. "one being the schools and two being it's a small base city. I wanted a little bit of peace and quiet. We may not have that anymore if this thing goes in."

Waterville residents are afraid the proposed amphitheater would do more harm than good. They said there's no need for an outdoor music space when other venues exist in the region.

"I don't agree with it," resident Jim Christian said. "I've lived in Toledo most of my life, but I've been out here for 35 years. I'm the first one that would go to an outdoor rock concert, but there's venues in Cleveland, Detroit, even Fort Wayne, places like that. I don't understand why we need one here when those are accessible."

Residents also cited closer venues in northwest Ohio.

"Do we really need another concert venue?" Freeman asked. "We have the Huntington Center. We have the zoo. We have Centennial Terrace. We have all these other venues. Why there?"

But local businesses see the benefits of having an outdoor concert space. Troy Burns, owner of Buffalo Rock Brewing Company said thousands of people coming to town would be great for revenue.

"To me, when I see it from a business standpoint, I think it brings in money to the community, so I think that would mean less in taxes from the pockets of people living here," Burns said. "From a noise standpoint, it's not like it's going to be every day. It's not like 'I got a concert Monday through Saturday here'."

The Waterville Elementary School is a location for the postponed meeting city council is considering.

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