Town looks to pass noise ordinance, add decibel meters to police arsenal

Ethan Brogan

A new sound ordinance is in the works for Glenrock. After hearing complaints from residents about the loud trucks blaring through town, Glenrock Town Council tasked Glenrock Police Department Chief Tim Hurd to draft a remedy.
“The reason I went so far in depth. . . is the speed limits and the trucks in those limits and the vehicles in those limits. It actually reflects that you cannot be excessive (speed),” Hurd said. “It also incorporates far other issues that will benefit the town and the sensibility of the average person for sleep, etc.”
The ordinance calls for different acceptable noise levels throughout the day. Residential noise between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. can’t surpass 61 decibels and from the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., it can’t be louder than 55 decibels. For commercial noise, levels more than 71 decibels between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. will be deemed unacceptable and 61 decibels between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
According to the Department of Transportation, sound between 55-60 decibels is about the noise level of a full restaurant. Seventy decibels would sound like a vacuum from 10 feet away.
“It is fairly comprehensive,” Mayor Doug Frank said.“We passed an update to that ordinance, and unless we ban CB radios, it has been difficult to enforce.”
The ordinance also accounted for sounds coming from a vehicle going over the speed limit. The faster a vehicle is moving, the more stress on the engine, therefore more sound is produced. Meaning, if you are speeding in a 35 mph zone, the vehicle will be louder than the proposed allotted decibel level.
“Not just limited to traffic,” Hurd said. “It far encompasses more than that.”

Currently, the GPD isn’t equipped with decibel meters to accurately measure noise, but Hurd is looking for funding from the council.

“They are relatively inexpensive depending upon where you go or how many you purchase,” Hurd said during the council meeting. “At the third reading I will give options.”
Hurd is looking to have every GPD officer equipped with a decibel meter. The expected cost is between $84-400 per meter, Hurd said.
“I think the most important thing is we need to have increased tools on this particular front,” Franks said.
The fines for violating these perimeters start at $100 for a first offense and increase up to $1,000 for the fourth offense in a two-year period.
The ordinance passed on first reading at the March 26 council meeting, but will still need two more sessions before it is enacted, where councilmen stressed they would look at some changes.
“We have three meetings, we can modify if necessary” Frank said.
The next reading for the ordinance will be at the April 9 town council session. 


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