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May 10, 2014

Seven Points considers noise ordinance

Athens — The Seven Points City Council completed their agenda in 18 minutes on Thursday evening.

The three-items agenda included amending the noise ordinance in Seven Points.

Mayor Bill Hash asked the council to table the decision on amending the noise ordinance until next month's council meeting.

“This is not where I think it should be,” said Hash. “I would like all the council members to take the ordinance home and read it. Let's find a solution.”

The City of Seven Points currently measures noise using a decibel meter.  The current ordinance reads from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. at a residential home.

The energy-equivalent sound level should not exceed 52 decibels.

During the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Leq should not exceed 62 decibels. Office, retail and commercial property should not exceed 62 decibels at any time. For industrial, the level is 70 decibels.

After a citizen complaint, the city is seeking to amend the ordinance. 

The amendment the council tabled read in part: “It shall be unlawful for any person operating or controlling a motor vehicle in any location within the city to operate a radio, stereo receiver, compact disc player, cassette tape player, MP3 player or other similar device from the motor vehicle in such a manner that the volume is louder than is necessary for the convenient hearing of the occupants of the vehicles, in which such device is operated.”

The amendment also stated the same would apply to residential, or any place where people gather.

Exemptions would include safety signals, storm warning sirens or horns and testing of equipment, emergency vehicles sirens or horns used to respond to emergencies. Special events could also be exempt from the noise ordinance.

Hash said the council would take up the noise ordinance at the next regularly-scheduled council meeting on June 12.

As for other agenda items, the council tabled a vote on electrical proposals to upgrade dispatch equipment. Hash asked Councilman Andy Perdue to talk to the maintenance department and the electrical companies to make sure what the city needs to upgrade.

No action was taken on the resignation of Court Clerk/Associate Judge Carol Birdwell. Hash said Birdwell had decided to continue her employment with the city.

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