CHIPLEY - Chipley City Council is moving forward with its latest draft of a noise ordinance aimed at snuffing out loud music and rowdy partying.
"The intent behind this was for excessive noise that is consistently going on, not 10 minutes of someone yelling in their backyard - by the time somebody got there, it might be all over with. but maybe someone building something in their backyard and ... decided to fire up the saw at 3 a.m.," councilman Brett Butler said in the form of a question to City Attorney Michelle Blankenship Jordan, later adding, "a sustained level of noise."
The conversation was introduced to the council by councilwoman Linda Cain who said a number of residents had contacted her in regards to rowdiness in Ward 1, on the north side of the city. The ordinance leaves some subjectivity to the responding officer to determine whether the sounds are too loud and cause a disturbance over a sustained period of time.
However, some parts of the ordinance are more enforceable than others. The question is if it would be able to address Cain's concerns of "drinking, partying, and cussing and hollering at midnight, 1 or 2 a.m., disturbing someone's peace," in other words, rowdiness.
When councilman John Sasser asked Jordan if the ordinance will be enforceable, she responded, "Some of the provisions, I'm more confident in than others."
Jordan listed yelling and shouting being on the less confident side, as they can be easily challenged and are not sustained noises - though a major part of Cain's concerns.
Still, the ordinance "will definitely be a deterrent," Jordan said.
Other than confirmation that the ordinance would give the police department the authority to regulate noise levels, the council had little criticism about the drafted ordinance.
"I thought it was good. I thought it addressed everything," Cain said.
The council will vote to advertise the ordinance for a public hearing in the upcoming meeting on March 12.
The council also heard from Attorney Matt Fuqua concerning the Mongoven Building strategy to dispose of the property. Fuqua prepared a request for proposal to be advertised in local newspaper outlets. The deadline for bids is April 2 with an approval from the council at the April 12 meeting.
Also at the meeting, the council:
Approved Resolution No. 19-19, which is a request for a $30,049 loan from Capital City Bank Loan, at an interest rate of 3.48 percent, to purchase a 2019 Dodge Charger for the police department.
Approved a Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Community Development Block Grant contract award to Fred Fox Enterprises for $52,000.
Approved a FDEO CDBG engineering services to Alday Howell Engineering, Inc.
Approved the Florida Department of Environmental Protections consent order.
Approved a planning and zoning request for Obert Funeral Home, a special event request for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and Mack Campbell and Howard Bolton on the Recreation Advisory Committee.