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Concerned resident talks to commission about Resonance Festival

MORGANTOWN — A man who lives about a mile from Marvin’s Mountaintop, where the Resonance Music Festival was held Sept. 16-18, wants the festival to take additional considerations for residents in coming years.

James Martin was on the Preston County Commission’s agenda as a concerned citizen at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Martin’s chief complaint was the dust created by all the traffic. As a coal miner for 20 years, the dust was hard on him — let alone some of his neighbors with lung problems. The mass gathering permit approved by the county commission was for 9,999 people.

“The dust was just terrible,” Martin said. 

County Commissioner Samantha Stone said she drives school bus on those roads and agreed the dust was bad.

“You can go at a snail’s speed and the dust is bad. And so with all those vehicles, I did make the trip out with Sheriff Pritt to see what was going on out there and how things went, and it is extremely dusty.”

Martin asked that since the festival has a five-year contract, if the roads aren’t blacktopped by the next one, which Commission President Don Smith said was “highly unlikely,” that the festival use water trucks to wet the roads.

Commissioner Dave Price said he thought that dust control was something previous events on the mountain were required to do.

Martin also asked for a speed limit sign on Herring Road, which is currently 55 mph, as there is nothing posted. Even 20 mph is fast for the road, he said.

Smith and Stone said getting the speed limit signs should be easy. 

The final issue with the festival was about the noise, and he requested future festivals have to turn it down by midnight.

“We could sit in our house, we’re close to a mile from where it is, with the air conditioner running, the TV running, sat in my living room, we could still hear thump, thump, thump,” Martin said.

Stone told Martin there was an after-action meeting planned near the end of October. Smith said he took note of Martin’s issues for the meeting.

Later in the meeting, County Administrator Kathy Mace asked the county commissioners to send her any questions or specific things they wanted to make sure were covered in the meeting.

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