City divided on Waterville amphitheater proposal

Developer plans to open the concert venue off U.S. 24 by June 2023
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Ohio (WTVG) - Hunter Brucks is a country singer from Maybee, Michigan. He’s also in the business of designing, constructing, and managing outdoor amphitheaters through his businesses H.B. Concerts, Inc. and H.B.C. Management.

Brucks wants to have a concert venue up and running in Waterville by June of 2023.

“We’re ready to go now. We’ve got the land,” says Brucks. “People will hear it, you know, but they’ll hear it as much or maybe a little less than a high school football game.”

On Monday, August 1, 2022, some Waterville residents expected to hear more about the proposed amphitheater during a planning commission meeting. However, so many people showed up, there was not enough room for everyone. The meeting is now on hold until the city can lock in a larger space such as a school gymnasium.

Some who showed up, such as Seth Horton, are already giving the plans a thumbs down.

“This proposal is not in the best interest of Waterville, and it clearly is for the purpose of making money and I don’t think that is going to help the town,” says Horton.

“We’re going to have uniformed police, patrol cars all scheduled out there,” explains Brucks. “They know where their points of ingress, egress are, and when they come in, it’s going to be two-lane traffic. When they come out, it’s going to be two-lane traffic.”

On August 15, residents voiced their opinion on the concert venue.

Resident Riley Dean said he believes the amphitheater will have a great impact on the city.

“Honestly as a young person, I am very for the amphitheater. I think it would bring a lot of cool events to the city and I think from an economic perspective it will be really impactful for the city,” Riley Dean said.

Norman Witltzer, a former councilmember said the venue could create some economic competition,

“It could create some competition for the Kroger store out there, maybe we’ll get a Meijer. Some jobs for the kids and that and maybe some more fast food restaurants for two, and everyone would like to see that,” Witltzer said.

However, some residents are not in favor of the proposed change.

“I’m not happy. I’m not happy about the traffic, the noise, the lights, or the stress on our fire police and rescue services. It’s too big, it’s too much. It’s not appropriate for our community,” Janet Shoviak said.

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