ASHTABULA COUNTY (WJW) — Should it stay or should it go?

A battle is brewing over live music being too loud along the strip in Geneva-on-the-Lake.

The popular summer destination is considered Ohio’s first resort town and live bands have become a big part of the draw according to the Ashtabula County Visitors Bureau and local leaders.

“If you look at the statistics, what our guests looking for when they travel, and entertainment falls at the top of the list and live music is a big part of that,” said Matthew Caudill, Council President and owner of Sportsterz Bar & Grill.

Caudill says as a business owner he’s witnessed first hand the importance of live music in bringing tourists to the village, which in turn helps the overall local economy.

“Countless people come here for live music, grab a drink, and dinner and move on and there are so many different spots you can see something all day long,” said Caudill.

But some residents and property owners say the music’s getting louder and has become a nuisance.

At a standing room only council meeting Monday night, one resident said, “I get complaints from my tenants about the noise, can’t sleep and stuff like that.”

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He proposes that council adopt a noise ordinance similar to Put-N-Bay, and that the volume be lowered after 11 p.m.

“Where you have decibel limits listed in the ordinance so we can be protected if you don’t like the noise,” he said. “I’m not trying to kill this town, it just needs to be balanced.”

However the majority of people at the meeting strongly disagreed and spoke out against any new noise ordinances.

“To me it’d be like moving to Las Vegas and telling them to turn the lights off,” said Mark Miller, owner of Whips Magic Shop.

Business owner and council member Peter Macchia Jr. said, “We get 1.2 million visitors to the village almost every year, the amount of complaints add up to about one tenth of 1% so there are some complaints, but not a lot.”

Council members and business owners said they understand the concerns and hope to work towards a compromise, but feel strongly that overly restricting the music scene would hurt everyone’s bottom line.

“I understand because I hear the music every night,” said Macchia, “But we are a summer resort town and we have roughly 15 weeks to make money to survive all year and now with gas prices, COVID the last 2 years and everything else it’s really hard to make a living.”

No decisions were made Monday night but city council said they would take the proposed ordinance under consideration.