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Officials: New city sound system wasn’t used for concert

ELKINS — A local community volunteer wants the public to know that the City of Elkins’ new sound system was not used during the concert at the end of the Mountain State Street Machines Cruise In event on Sept. 24.

The sound of the concert — featuring Rick K. and the Allnighters at the Elkins Town Square Amphitheatre — could be heard throughout town and was the subject of an Inter-Mountain editorial in the Sept. 26 issue.

“We won’t have bands playing through the city sound system. It’s not meant for that,” said Tammy Dolly of the Our Town group, which helped organize the Cruise In and spearheaded the replacement of the decades-old downtown sound system. The new system was purchased by the City of Elkins.

Dolly said the p.a. system actually used for the concert was provided by the band.

“We just want to use the new city sound system for pre-recorded music,” Dolly said Monday afternoon. “We were going to use it just to have music in the street during the event.”

Dolly said Our Town rented the new sound system from the city, but it sat in her office on Sept. 24 and wasn’t used, as the group was shorthanded that day due to illness. She said she returned the sound system to the city on the morning of Sept. 25.

Use of the sound system was mentioned during the Sept. 24 Elkins City Council meeting, which took place while the Cruise In concert was going on.

“I just wanted to mention that tonight was our first application and use of the downtown sound system. The Our Town group put the application in,” City Clerk Jessica Sutton said during the council meeting.

Dolly said there was honest confusion on the part of city officials about whether the sound system was being used that night.

“They didn’t know that it wasn’t being used, they just knew that was our plan to use it for the event,” Dolly said.

She stressed that she didn’t “want there to be any negative connotation to the sound system or the Amphitheater.

“I really don’t think the level of sound coming from the new city sound system will be a problem.”

“It was a beautiful event,” Dolly said of the Cruise In. “It was such a nice crowd. People were kind and keeping their distance. It was great to have that feeling downtown again.”

Dolly said Our Town also plans to rent the sound system next week, as scarecrows for the Scarecrow Days event will be placed downtown.

On Monday afternoon, Sutton released the following information about the situation:

“While it’s true that Our Town went through all the proper procedures to have access to the City’s downtown sound system, outside of some brief testing earlier in the day, the system wasn’t utilized. The volume of the music that evening, which I understand ended around 8 p.m., was at the discretion of the band performing.

“Community stakeholders worked very hard to provide this system and intend to use it responsibly. The City, as the owner, will take every legitimate concern seriously and appreciate the opportunity to address them directly.

“Further, the volume levels of the downtown system have been tested on multiple occasions and found to be satisfactory by city officials and downtown visitors. In fact, during these testing sessions, several people have stopped and commented on how much they enjoyed it.”

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