AUGUSTA — The owner of The Red Barn restaurant has given Mayor David Rollins a check for $200 and signed a consent agreement with the city to settle a noise complaint in the wake of a social media uproar over the issue.

Rollins said he talked with Laura Benedict, owner of the Riverside Drive restaurant, after she called him to ask for a meeting Wednesday. The two spoke for about an hour, Rollins said, and Benedict paid the city $200, the amount proposed in a consent agreement to settle a noise complaint against the restaurant in 2016.

Rollins said Benedict told him she was sorry for making an inaccurate video criticizing city officials that prompted a widespread angry reaction. The emotional video was viewed more than 1.4 million times on social media.

In the video posted to The Red Barn’s Facebook page, Benedict falsely said the city had fined the restaurant for exceeding the city’s noise limits during a 2016 fundraising benefit for a veterans group. She accused city officials of mistreating veterans by doing so, and urged viewers to contact city officials.

But the alleged noise violation had occurred at a different event in July 2016, a concert that was not a fundraiser.

Rollins said those accusations hurt city officials, and he said Augusta is a veteran-friendly community. He cited several examples, including on Memorial Day last year when the city was designated a military-friendly community by the Maine National Guard.

“We are truly a military-friendly community,” Rollins said during a discussion of the incident at Thursday’s Augusta City Council meeting. “Not only did that disparage us and put us in a bad light, but it hurt us, because it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

City officials said they were besieged with calls and emails from people who saw Benedict’s video posted July 7 on Facebook. Later on July 7, Benedict acknowledged to a reporter that she had not read the proposed consent agreement before posting the video and was incorrect in stating it was for the Honor Flight Maine, a nonprofit organization that flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials. She has since apologized, in another, much-less-well-traveled Facebook post, for identifying the wrong event.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj