GRAY — Some neighbors of American Legion Post 86 think the nearly 100-year-old local organization partied too hard — or at least too loudly — earlier this year at a fundraiser for the Travis Mills Foundation.

Town Manager Deborah Cabana said several residents near the Lewiston Road post complained about noise from the concert and barbecue fundraiser in August.

“I personally received a complaint from two different people who live in Gray Park, and I personally received two complaints from the same individual who lives on Colley Hill,” Cabana said. “So, I had three complaints myself.”

Those complaining said they “couldn’t, even with their windows down, listen to the TV,” Cabana said, and she hoped the town could work with the American Legion post while respecting neighbors’ concerns.

“I think I also said two weeks ago, had I known it was Travis, I probably would have been there at the event, too,” Cabana said. “Because it’s not that we don’t respect” the foundation or the Legion.

The Travis Mills Foundation is a nonprofit founded by Army veteran Travis Mills, who lost his limbs in a 2012 improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan. The foundation supports combat-wounded veterans and their families.

About 250 people attended the event and raised $3,500 for the foundation, according to Post 86 Adjutant Jason Hall.

Discussion about the August fundraiser has come up at the last two Gray Town Council meetings. The council is reviewing Post 86’s application to renew its special amusement license so it can host certain events and fundraisers.

Hall attended the Jan. 2 meeting with his concerns that a proposed motion on the Dec. 5 agenda would have approved the Legion’s special amusement license, but only with a provision stating, “All noise, concerts, music, etc. shall be contained to the inside of the building only.”

Hall said in December that the Legion maximizes its fundraising capacity with outdoor events because there’s more space than inside the hall.

That motion was tabled at the December meeting, but Cabana and Council Chairwoman Lynn Gallagher indicated the license may come back to the Jan. 16 meeting if town staff and the Legion are able to work through some of the concerns.

“I’m really optimistic that we can still work together to get this resolved,” Hall said.

Fran Monroe, who lives near the Legion hall, made her frustration with the August event clear to the council at the Jan. 2 meeting.

“It wasn’t noise or music, it was abuse,” Monroe said, describing an echo-like sound.

Monroe, who said “there was never a problem” in the past, suggested suspending the Legion’s special amusement license for six months. She said the group should come up with an event plan and procedure, present it to council for review, and provide a phone number of someone at the Legion who can be contacted during an event.

Hall emphasized the various ways that the Legion is involved in the community through fundraisers, events and other efforts.

“I’m thinking our hard work and good deeds — it far outweighs a few complaints for one event in 97 years,” Hall said.

Post 86 was chartered in 1921, Hall said.

Noise complaints from an August fundraiser held at the American Legion Post 86 in Gray have come up at Town Council discussions as the post looks to renew its special amusement license. (Matt Junker/The Forecaster)


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