Liquid Assetts bar asked the Fremont Village Board for noise permits for three different nights but received approval for two.
The board cast two votes on the issue at its Aug. 10 meeting.
James Janusheske has owned the bar for three years and requested noise permits for Aug. 21, Aug. 28 and Sept. 5.
The vote on that request was denied when four of the board members – Kathy Gaynor, Randy Hofstetter, Dan Sambs and Denis Scharine voted against it. Rick Coenen, Per Dobbe and John Kohl voted in favor of it.
“I think we need to trim those days down. Then, it might have a chance,” Sambs said after the vote.
Janusheske then requested noise permits for Aug. 21 and Sept. 5.
That request was approved by a 5-2 vote, with Coenen, Dobbe, Hofstetter, Kohl and Sambs voting yes, while Gaynor and Scharine voted no.
Under the village’s present noise ordinance, noise permits may be applied for up to twice per month, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The noise ordinance does not allow for use or operation of public address systems, amplifiers or devices that increase the volume of voice, music or sound between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The requested permit extends the time allowed for such sounds until midnight.
The discussion during the Aug. 10 board meeting centered on the village’s request that Janusheske install some type of backstop when bands play at Liquid Assetts bar.
When Head East played at the bar on July 25, a piece of plywood was used as a backstop, but some village board members would like to see something more permanent installed.
Janusheske asked how he is expected to afford a backstop estimated to cost about $9,000, and one village resident asked what would happen if Janusheske did pay that much for such a backstop, and it did not work.
“I can’t make the decision about what you do,” Hofstetter told Janusheske. “We’re just asking for something to knock off a little of the noise going across the river.”
Before taking action on Janusheske’s request, the board approved a noise permit for a private residence on Wolf River Drive for Aug. 21 and for a band that will play at Wolf River Crossing Park on Aug. 28.
One member of the audience said, “It sounds like selective enforcement to me.”
Scharine said the complaints vary, and Kohl said, “I know these are the same people who complain, and sometimes, the complaints come in before the band even starts.”
Janusheske says the bands bring revenue into the community.
He estimated that when Head East played on July 25, it brought close to $100,000 in revenue to businesses throughout the village.
In light of last week’s discussion at the board meeting, Janusheske would like to hear from residents about whether they have concerns when bands play at his bar.
“Why am I the one getting ripped on? We’re trying our best,” he told the board last week.
Gaynor said a backstop should be more of a structure. “I thought we were getting somewhere,” she said.
Janusheske said, “I told you something would be up, and it was.”
Sambs said, “Hopefully, by next year, we will have something more substantial to deal with this.”