Douglas County commissioners decided Wednesday to make changes to the county’s current noise resolution before bringing it back for public comment and discussion.
The discussion among commissioners was brought about by complaints from rural county residents in regard to noise problems from neighbors during the early evening hours.
Commissioner Jim Flory said Wednesday he thought the time limitation noted in the current resolution, which regulates noise disturbances between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., was an unnecessary feature.
“I see no problem in striking the nighttime hours from the resolution,” Flory said. “If the noise reaches that level, I don’t think it makes a difference what time it occurs.”
By striking the language from the resolution, the county sheriff’s office would be able to enforce the ordinance at any time. In the resolution, disturbances are described as activities creating noise that disturbs, disrupts, injures, endangers or interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of a person’s property.
Commissioner Nancy Thellman said she worried expanding the hours could result in a possible overreach, hindering the ability for certain activities that might not be covered in the current resolutions exceptions.
“I’m not necessarily opposed,” Thellman said. “I wonder if that opens up difficulties with neighbors.”
County commissioners will revise the language of the resolution and place the item on a future agenda for a 6:35 p.m. meeting. That meeting would allow the item to be opened to public comment.
Commissioners also approved a petition to set up a benefit district for the Rock Creek Cemetery, 755 East 250 Road in Marion Township. Taxes for those living in the district would be raised approximately $6 for every $1,000 paid. The funds would be used to help maintain the cemetery. People living in the district will have to elect a board before a mill levy can be placed on the property. The idea for the district, which has been in the works for more than two years, garnered petition signatures from between 70 and 80 percent of the affected residents.