County considers noise ordinance

By Fred Woods


Lee County is going to have a noise ordinance in the near future.

The county commission asked county administrator Roger Rendleman to make changes to a draft ordinance as directed by the commissioners in their Sept. 8 meeting and proceed with publishing the proposed ordinance. This will be followed by a public hearing, after which the commission will adopt a final version. The effective date for the ordinance will be sometime early next year and will apply only to unincorporated areas of the county.

The ordinance follows complaints to the commission about loud late night parties at private homes and loud noises generated at several night clubs in unincorporated parts of the county. Violations will result in civil penalties of $150 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 for consecutive violations.

The ordinance will prohibit the playing of radios, televisions, stereos, musical instruments, public address systems, amplifiers or other devices at such an unreasonable volume that annoys or disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of any person in a residence or that interferes with the conduct of business in a commercial establishment. The determination of unreasonable volume is left to the judgment of sworn officers of the sheriff’s office.

Also covered are the same noises generated on public property, public roads and rights of way. This seems to be primarily aimed at noise at unreasonable volumes emanating from vehicles. Again, the determination of unreasonable volume must be made by a sworn officer of the sheriff’s office.

The commission also discussed the problem of member attendance at Lee County Recreation Board meetings. The Recreation Board’s rules call for the board to request (by letter) that the commission replace members who do not attend at least half of the Board’s meetings. At its meeting the commission, after discussion with the Recreation Board, set a time for a joint work session to discus the problem.

The commission, after hearing a positive recommendation from the Highway Department, voted to lower the speed limit from 45 to 25 miles per hour on roads in three county subdivisions: Shadow Wood, Pine Lakes and Summer Terrace. Citizens had requested this action.

The commission also asked county engineer Justin Hardee to continue developing a proposal for submission to the county legislative delegation for special legislative authority to set the speed limit at 25 miles per hour for county roads in all county subdivisions.

Sheriff Jay Jones recognized Deputy Robert May for his recent graduation from the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy. May set a high standard at the Academy, finishing fourth in a class of 78 and receiving the Director’s Award, the highest award given by the academy staff.

In other action the commission

– approved several maintenance bids for the Highway Department,

– approved a three-year renewal agreement with PRA Government Services for administration of county taxes,

– renewed participation in the Workers Compensation Self Insurance Fund,

– approved a budget adjustment to reflect commission ownership of three vehicles purchased by the sheriff’s office with non-budget funds,

– renewed Tyner Building use agreements with the Genealogical Society of East Alabama and the Lee County Cemetery Preservation Commission, and

– approved educational reimbursement for Rita Smith of the EMA.