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franklin county times

PC prepares to enforce noise, impoundment ordinances

The Phil Campbell police department will begin enforcing a recently-revised noise ordinance next month. Ordinance No. 2022-0517-1, adopted and signed May 17, details regulations pertaining to “excessive or unreasonable noise.”

Phil Campbell Police Chief Jessica Clements said the wording in the ordinance that is currently in effect does not address distance limitations – something that is specified in the revised version.

“We will give warnings first, but if we have to continue asking, there will be citations,” said Clements.

“We already had a noise ordinance in place,” explained Councilman Eddie Marbutt. “All we did was bring our ordinance in line with everybody else in the state. You can go on anybody’s website and look and see it’s standard.”

Clements explained the increased attention to noise concerns stems from recent complaints.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints lately, like on Pike Avenue, with people revving their engines late at night, people playing their music really loudly at Piggly Wiggly and the Dollar Store and the gas station,” Clements said.

“I can be in my office and in a meeting and hear people coming before they even get to Piggly Wiggly. Being quieter in town is just a matter of respect. Going through town, it’s just respectful to turn the music down.”

Phil Campbell resident Spencer Adams, who said he lives on Highway 63, shared his thoughts at the council’s most recent meeting. He explained while he understands the annoyance connected to the noise level, he is even more concerned about the safety of those involved. Adams explained he was speaking as “a concerned citizen of Phil Campbell and a concerned parent.”

“When somebody comes through bumping their speakers, shaking my house, it aggravates me just as much as anybody, but I know there’s a bunch of kids on my street. We’ve got people routinely coming up and down 63, going at least 40-60 miles per hour,” Adams said.

He noted that a school bus is among the vehicles that have sped by, adding he has talked to everybody about it who lives nearby.

“I get that it is a nuisance. I fully understand, and I agree with it, but I believe that we do need to focus a little bit more effort on slowing people down on these roads,” Adams said.

Members of the Council and police department acknowledged the concerns, suggesting, in part, to take down the bus number if that particular occurrence happens again. They also expressed plans to monitor and increase enforcement efforts.

Michael Peppers also spoke about noise concerns.

“I’m fixing to be 63 years old, and I’ve lived in this town probably 50 of those years,” Peppers said. He said his 96-year-old mother lives in his home and is bothered by loud noise late at night. “I’m tired of it, and I’m fed up with it.”

Peppers said people drive by his home late at night, loudly speeding by just as they get to his house and slowing down after passing it – noting his feeling that it’s being done deliberately to upset him.

“It has quietened down since the ordinances, but the way it did before and the way it’s doing now, it’ll stay quiet about two weeks and then they’ll start again,” he said, “and they’ll get louder and louder to see what they are going to get away with.”

Peppers said he doesn’t have a problem with music being played louder during the daytime, but nighttime is a different story.

“They wake up my mother, and that’s when I get upset. I’m not saying there can’t be any noise, but there needs to be a time limit. My mother’s usually in bed by 9 p.m.,” he said.

Beth Gann also shared her concerns about noise and safety. “I can’t sit on my back porch and haven’t been able to since I’ve lived here, going on 15 years now,” she said. “I can’t even sit on my back porch without hearing the drag strip of 81. They come over those tracks, and they hit their gas.”

“These kids are racing in front of my house,” she added. “We need to do something to slow these people down.”

Gann said police will get the problem under control, but after a few days, the noise and speeding problems crop back up.

“This is all dangerous. My peace and quiet has been affected big time,” she said. “I’m retired. I’m a retired teacher. I came to Phil Campbell for a reason. I came from Indianapolis. I want peace and quiet, and I can’t have that where I am.”

“I’ve planted trees. I’ve planted reeds. I’ve done everything to kill any amount of noise, short of a wall.”

In addition to enforcing the revised noise ordinance effective with July, Phil Campbell will also be enforcing an ordinance regulating the impoundment of vehicles of unlicensed drivers.

Clements said there haven’t been any complaints about the impoundment ordinance.

The noise and impoundment ordinances are posted on the Phil Campbell police department Facebook page and can also be requested from City Hall. This includes revisions as well as new and old ordinances.

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