11/23/13, No. 84
Next week the Jacksonville City Council will consider a noise-abatement ordinance aimed at shutting down Welcome 2 Rockville, an annual music festival held at Metropolitan Park on the north bank of the St. Johns River. Rumbling Over Decibel Dispute Grows Louder In Jacksonville. Residents in the St. Nicholas district on the river’s south bank object to the music’s high decibel levels and to the performers occasionally uttering naughty words.
Also up for consideration that night will be a smell-abatement ordinance. St. Nicholas residents have complained for years about the odor of roasting coffee wafting in their direction from the Maxwell House plant similarly situated on the north bank. The plant is the emitter of the strongest odor in Jacksonville. “Believe me,” attested one St. Nicholas woman, who is pregnant, “this is the last thing you want to wake up and smell.”
Councilman Don Redman has proposed a law banning all outdoor odor concentrations above 20 OUE. A Maxwell House spokesperson claims Redman’s bill, if passed, would effectively shut down the plant. Councilwoman Denise Lee has introduced an alternative measure establishing a commission to study the problem and to mandate city officials to install olfactory meters on the south bank to gather odor readings. As determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, odors with concentrations above 20 OUE are considered naughty.
In anticipation of next week’s meeting, Maxwell House has inaugurated a PR campaign to change the popular perception of the odor from negative to positive. At public functions company spokespeople stress terms such as ‘fragrance’ and ‘aroma.’ Also, in a newly released ad, the tune of a popular Christmas carol has been appropriated, but with the lyrics changed to “Do you smell what I smell? . . .”