A proposed noise ordinance has caused a lot of noise in Evansville, but what seems to be lost in translation is Evansville already has one in place.
City council attorney Joshua Claybourn says, “People who are making noise during the day and who the EPA can check is who it’s targeting and would impact the most now.”
Claybourn says the current noise ordinance has been around since 1982 with two sections focusing on noise coming from vehicles and industrial properties.
“If you have a residence that’s near a factory as an example, that factory would need to be reasonable about it’s sound,” Claybourn says. “I mean that’s really the intent of the current ordinance so I think that’s why people aren’t aware of it. “
A big difference is enforcement.
“I would wager over 95% is handled by the police department currently,” Jacob Keating says.
Keating is the director for the Evansville Environmental Protection Agency, and is the one and only employee who can enforce the current noise ordinance.
“I’m a very small office and one person and I am here 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and majority of the time it has to be police that come out,” Keating says.
The current ordinance is 24 hours, enforced by someone who works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with complaints coming mostly during the evening.
The proposed ordinance would allow the police department to enforce it too. It would also bring down the decibel limit from 75 to 60, and would be more defined.
“I think the ordinance sponsors are hoping to include restaurants, those types of facilities along with many others with the new proposal,” Claybourn says.
Claybourn explains the fines are similar, however the first violation of the proposed ordinance is a warning instead of a $50.00 fine.
“I really don’t think this is going to be a burden upon anyone,” Keating says.
City council will vote on the proposed noise ordinance June 11.
(This story was originally published May 11, 2018)