Thirteen sound monitoring devices were recently installed across Portland to collect noise impact data according to a press release issued from the city’s spokesperson. One of those 13 noise monitoring devices is located at the corner of Congress and Mountfort Streets on Munjoy Hll.
The devices which cost $50,000. were installed by Acentech and will collect data for three months. While the impetus for collecting this data derived from noise in the Old Port and concerts on the Maine State Pier, the devices will allow the city to get a baseline for all daily activities that produce noise.
At the end of the three months, the city will receive a baseline report from Acentech. City staff will receive that report and then bring it before the Council’s Health & Human Services Committee for review and discussion on next steps.
Concerts on the Maine State Pier have been a particular source of unwanted noise for some residents of Munjoy Hill. “Hopefully we won’t be bothered by concert noise from the Maine State Pier,” said Susan Veligor. She and her husband are new residents of the Hill having just moved from the Parkside neighborhood. “We also hope that the Council will do the right thing by its residents in recognizing that loud noises make people uncomfortable.”
Neighbors of Veligor and her husband have already been hearing the noise from the Maine State Pier for at least the last year or more. “I hear the bottom notes. They vibrate when I’m in bed. It’s disturbing. It’s obnoxious,” said Edna Curit. She went on to say that during the 60s and 70s this was a great little working class community. “Everyone knew each other and we looked out for each other. Times have changed. Working class people can’t afford to live here,” Curit said. Sarah Cyr, her roommate said that recently “Old Crow Medicine” was playing. “I live 5 blocks away from the Maine State Pier and I should not be able to hear the lyrics.”
The future of the 7 acre pier with a seating capacity of 3,000 Maine State Pier is unclear. The matter is expected to come up for consideration before the city’s Economic Development Committee this fall.
Back in 2008, the city of Portland tried unsuccessfully to develop the Maine State Pier. The two finalist for the project were Ocean Properties, Inc. and Olympia Cos. Ocean Properties founder Tom Walsh is a Bangor native. His project was publicly supported by former US Senator George Mitchell. Olympia Cos. president was Kevin Mahaney, a Maine native as well. His founding partner at Olympia Cos. was Jim Brady, who is the managing partner for CPB2LLC, developers for Portland Foreside, 58 Fore Street at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. Mahaney skippered the US team that won silver at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Brady was on that 1992 silver medal winning team in Barcelona in 1992. The Press Hotel, developed by Brady, was the first LEED certified hotel in Maine.
The failed process to develop the Maine State Pier, however, did succeed in producing hard feelings between the supporters of the two developers!