The sounds of summer at Morton Field will again include the amplified announcement of semi-pro baseball players, but the music coming from the field will be limited to The Star Spangled Banner.
The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to revoke and amend its June 7 ruling that barred the Reading Bulldogs from using amplified sound at its games.
Under the new ruling, General Manager John Halsey will be allowed to set up speakers at the games, but will be limited to using them to announce players and play the national anthem.
Previously, Halsey said, the team had played a total of about 60 minutes of amplified sound over a four-hour period. That included music before and after the game, and two minutes of music at each inning change.
He agreed to the selectmen’s compromise, which he said would reduce the amplification’s duration to about 30 minutes.
The selectmen said the ruling will stand for the remainder of the Bulldogs’ season while the board crafts a more thorough permitting policy for the use of amplified sound at town fields.
“We’re going to use you as the test case,” said Chairman Camille Anthony.
The selectmen’s change in stance came after a sharp reaction to their original ruling.
An article on Reading Patch describing the June 7 vote drew more than 90 comments, and Halsey said that the community’s response left his phone and email box “burning up.”
However, he said some of those calls, comments and emails had “gone sideways,” which was never his intention.
Many of the comments posted online made personal attacks on Selectman Richard Schubert, who had been one of the complaintents who triggered the ruling.
At this week’s meeting, Halsey delivered a petition signed by 313 residents asking the selectmen to revisit its decision.
The original petition which triggered the revocation of the Bulldogs’ sound permit bore 32 signatures.