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Merriweather adjusts request for noise limits

Justice System

Merriweather Post Pavilion is no longer asking the Howard County Delegation that no limits be placed on noise levels at the Columbia concert venue.

Instead, Merriweather asked the Delegation Wednesday in Annapolis to revise its request to the General Assembly and set noise levels as high as 95 decibels.

Merriweather is proposing noise levels to 95 decibels in a quarter-mile radius of the pavilion from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are no residential properties within the quarter-mile radius.

At residential property lines outside the radius, Merriweather has proposed a 72.5 decibel level be approved, up from the current 65 decibel level.

Merriweather General Manager Jean Parker said these new levels won't allow acts at Merriweather to play louder, it just updates county code to reflect how the concert venue has operated for years.

Merriweather has asked the delegation to approve a bill that would prevent Howard County or any local government subsidiary from banning the electronic amplification of sound between certain hours at an outdoor concert venue with a capacity of more than 15,000 individuals. Merriweather, built in 1967, is the only such venue in the county.

The delegation did not vote on the Merriweather proposal and is expected to continue discussion on the bill next week.

The Sheriff of Howard County will receive a raise in 2015, but it's not as high as was requested.

The delegation unanimously approved a bill giving the Sheriff of Howard County a $12,000 raise over four years beginning after the next sheriff is elected in 2014.

Requested by Sheriff James Fitzgerald, whose salary is $85,000, the original bill would have increased the sheriff's salary to $112,000 in 2014, equivalent to the pay of a 20-year lieutenant in the police department.

But Republican Sen. Allan Kittleman proposed the raise be phased in over four years and Democratic Sen. Ed Kasemeyer proposed the raise be $3,000 a year. Both amendments were unanimously approved by the delegation.

Judges of the Orphans' Court for Howard County will be receiving a raise in October, but it is not as high as was requested.

A bill that would nearly double the salaries of each judge of the Orphans' Court was amended to approve a $2,000 raise for each judge and passed by the delegation.

The delegation also approved bills that would:

•Allow wineries in Howard County to sell wine at farmers' markets in the county.
•Allow the comptroller to issue a farm brewery license to brew beer on local farms that will only be sold on site.
•Authorize a state debt of $75,000 to be used as a grant to the Board of Directors of Vantage House Retirement Community in Columbia for development and improvement purposes.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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