WEST FARGO -- Some nearby residents of the POW/MIA Plaza in West Fargo say events, especially recent concerts are getting too loud and disruptive to the neighborhood.
Mel Thoreson, who lives directly behind the plaza, which is operated by the non-profit West Fargo Events, said recent concerts have gone later than they should and some events have been disruptive to her family.
“My yard is about 20 feet from the stage,” she said. “It is so loud.”
Thoreson told the City Commission at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 3, that a recent Saturday concert ran until 11:20 p.m.
“The noise coming off the plaza has gotten out of control,” said resident Amy Kempfer in a letter to the city. “This past week it was so loud in my home, the bass shook a picture frame off my wall.”
Kempfer did not attend the Monday meeting.
West Fargo Executive Director Mike Amundson said that on Saturday, Aug. 24, the plaza was rented for a private fundraising event from 7 to 10 p.m. Once he received complaints the band played past the 10 p.m. deadline, the event organizer ordered the band to stop but the band started playing once again after the organizer had left the site.
At that point, Amundson called police who dispersed the band.
West Fargo Events has hosted a summer concert series throughout the summer on Thursdays but concerts were changed from 8 to 10 p.m. to 7 to 9 p.m., as a courtesy to the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The noise does affect my home,” she said. “ My house rattles a little bit while they are playing and that’s at least once a week.”
City Commissioner and current West Fargo Events President Mark Simmons said the group takes complaints from neighbors of the plaza very seriously and it is researching options for sound barriers that could lessen the disruption.
“We’re looking into some type of a surrounding wall,” Simmons said.
The VFW also hosts events on the plaza and it can be rented for private events. Amundson said the band that recently caused an issue will not likely be allowed to return.
West Fargo’s noise ordinance says loud, unnecessary noise that disrupts, annoys, disturbs or injures others is not permitted any time of day.
In Fargo, noise “must be kept to a reasonable level” when two or more people are together between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Unreasonable noise is considered what is “likely to cause significant discomfort or annoyance to neighbors.”