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Franklin Mayor Schedules ‘Emergency Meeting’ on Rock Noise Complaints

franklin mayor john nelson
Franklin Mayor John Nelson

Franklin Mayor John Nelson has scheduled an emergency meeting with representatives of the Rock and Franklin’s District 6 alderman regarding noise complaints.

Nelson wrote in a September 20, 2023, press release that he wants to find a “harmonious and equitable resolution” with the “cooperation of all involved parties” for the “benefit of Franklin’s residents and businesses.”

The move comes just days after Wisconsin Right Now traveled to the area to report on neighbors’ long-standing noise complaints. County Supervisors Patti Logsdon, Deanna Alexander, and Kathleen Vincent then indicated at a county board meeting that they want to explore taking legal action against the sports and entertainment complex and/or rescinding its development agreement with the county.

WISN 1130 talk show host Dan O’Donnell and local television stations followed with reports of their own. A county-funded sound study revealed a host of issues, saying the Rock’s sound monitors were not all operable, and a speaker was directed toward a residential neighborhood, among other concerns.

Roc Ventures’ owner Mike Zimmerman told WRN that he believes the supervisors’ legal threats are emotionally-driven and could cost them and the county a lot of money if they pursue them.

In the September 20, 2023, news release, Nelson said that he wants to address “widespread concerns from neighboring residents regarding noise complaints associated with events held at The Rock Sports Complex, situated at 7011 S. Ballpark Dr. in Franklin.

“We are committed to addressing what have been longstanding concerns,” Nelson said.

The mayor indicated he was tied up with a budget presentation but could “now dedicate his efforts to addressing these concerns. It is the Mayor’s priority to resolve this issue to ensure the well-being of all residents of Franklin.”

He said the emergency meeting “presents an opportunity for Mayor Nelson and Alderman Craig to engage in constructive dialogue with owner Mike Zimmerman and the ROC’s executives while exploring viable solutions to mitigate the noise disturbances that have been a source of discontent within the community.”

Alderman Craig was at the scene with neighbors when we interviewed them, and he expressed a desire to help them.

The press release says that “all concerned residents and stakeholders are strongly encouraged to stay informed and engaged, as their input is integral to formulating a comprehensive solution that effectively addresses these issues while recognizing the significance of The Rock Sports Complex to the City of Franklin.”

The neighbors told WRN that the persistent noise from the Rock is destroying their quality of life and say they’ve tried for years to get officials to listen.

One neighbor says his son is kept up on school nights by the relentless noise that emanates from The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin into his bedroom. A retired attorney and his wife say the thumping bass and other sounds are so bad that they schedule visits from family members around game schedules and can’t even watch TV in peace. “It will drive you nuts,” he says.

The sounds of chainsaws and even a woman being tortured and screaming echo throughout the residential neighborhoods during a month-long Halloween event, the neighbors say. They can’t enjoy their patios and are being driven almost crazy by the noise that filters inside their homes from baseball games and concerts. They hear cowbells and “Sweet Caroline” and the profanity from movies. They say it goes on for about 130 days a year.

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