Resident Royce Hill urged the Harker Heights City Council on Tuesday to tighten noise restrictions in the city after two live music events at Fort Hood Harley-Davidson in the past month.
“On one occasion it was ridiculous,” Hill said. “The vibrations were bad enough to make the windows rattle. That can cause structural damage.”
While Hill said the city’s noise ordinance was one of the best he’d seen, he added that he’d like to see outside entertainment put to an end.
“The noise ordinance has to be applied reasonably,” City Manager Steve Carpenter said.
The city ordinance sets no maximum decibel standard between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Harley-Davidson hosted a fundraiser for its motorcycle owners group from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, said Lowell Dublin, general manager. The event, “Blues, Brews, Tattoos and Mudbugs,” featured crawfish, lemonade sales, alcohol sold by Twisted Wrench and live music from Nolanville band Blue Green Haze.
Dublin said attendance peaked at about 100 people, and said the band’s equipment was minimal.
“We’re not trying to blow the paint off the walls,” Dublin said. “We ask (the bands) to scale it back, and for the most part they’re compliant.”
Dublin said he wasn’t aware of any other noise complaints stemming from Harley-Davidson events. But April 11 was the “straw the broke the camel’s back,” Hill wrote in emails to neighbors.
From 7 to 10 p.m. April 11, Harley-Davidson hosted a charity event for soldiers. In an email to a neighbor, Hill cited loud music and motor noises coming from the shop.
Dublin said he doesn’t allow motorcycle exhaust pipe contests at his shop, like other local bike shops. The April 11 event included live music from Grainger Smith on a stage set up on the west side of the building, closer to an adjacent neighborhood than the usual location for music facing U.S. Highway 190.
“You could hear the music,” Dublin said. “But the lawnmower three doors down could’ve overpowered the music.”
Referencing recent events, Hill surveyed people in his neighborhood about taking the issue to the council. The survey drew a 20 percent return rate. Of the 14 who replied, 12 supported Hill’s effort and two opposed it. Hill also said he wanted alcohol consumption to be curtailed at special events.
Mayor Mike Aycock asked Hill to recommend how Harley-Davidson should approach future events.
“I don’t have a recommendation, sir,” Hill said. “That’s their problem. ... If you think (the noise level) is not a problem, I’ll sell you my house. I’ll sell it to you cheap.”