JASPER — Ongoing concerns with the city’s noise ordinance led to Jasper residents addressing the problem at the city council’s July 8 meeting.
According to Melanie Gay, the noise ordinance is blatantly ignored by some residents and that has caused others to have no place to turn.
“Music being blared so loud outside that our walls shake, our windows shake and our floors shake in our house,” Gay said as she pleaded for the council to do something with the growing concerns. “In our own home, there is no refuge.”
Gay wasn’t alone in voicing her concerns at the meeting with a handful of other residents also in attendance. According to the complaints, walls have developed cracks and pictures have fallen off of walls because of the loud music that is “comparable to that of a jet engine.”
Other complaints described the loud music as an “audible weapon.”
Gay and the other residents said reports have been made with the Jasper Police Department about the issue, which has been ongoing for more than a decade.
However, as a violation of a city ordinance the offense would carry, at most, just a monetary fine.
“In theory, it’s not a law enforcement issue, it’s a courtesy issue,” Jasper Police Chief Jeff McGuire said.
The council directed City Attorney Rhett Bullard to look into the legal options for punishing those that violate the city’s noise ordinance, including the possibility of impounding the vehicle in which the offense was committed in.
City Manager Marcus Collins gave the council the city’s financial report, which showed a dramatic increase in revenue for the city compared to a year ago. According to Collins, the city was $80,359 in debt a year ago. Currently, the city has $511,365 in the positive.
Collins said that has been accomplished through upgrading meters for both water and gas as well as streamlining the city’s budget. There has also been renegotiating with banks on interest rates.
“You can see the fruits in the numbers,” Collins said. “The city is on a great path to recovery, financially.”