Billings Votes On New Noise Ordinance - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Billings Votes On New Noise Ordinance

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One of the items discussed during Monday's Billings City Council meeting was a proposal to change the city's noise ordinance.

"The noise code, as it exists in the Billings Municipal Code, has been on the books since 1967." said Deputy City Attorney Craig Hensel. "What we've found, time after time, is when the Police go out to enforce noise complaints, that the ambient or surrounding noise is greater than what's permissible under the city codes."

Hensel said for that reason, the existing law is creating enforcement issues, and the City Attorney's Office's new noise ordinance proposal will bring the law into the 21st Century.

"The permissible thresholds of noise are being modified and brought up a little bit. In addition to that, the time for increased daytime thresholds is being moved from eight A.M. to seven A.M." said Hensel. He went on to say that noise coming from construction will be completely exempt during daytime hours.

Despite the exemption, some who attended the meeting wanted even more protection for construction workers, citing the need to start construction work very early during the summer months to beat the high temperatures.

"People just have to have a little bit of tolerance. Somebody was inconvenienced when your house was built, you might have to get inconvenienced a little bit when somebody's house is being built." said a member of the public at the meeting.

Mayor Tom Hanel said the city is willing to offer exemption permits.

"Depending on the location, the type of project that it may be, we will work with them. We want to show that we will make exceptions." said Hanel.

Monday's discussion on the new voice ordinance is a first reading of the proposal, and passed unanimously. The bill will go through a second reading in the future.

Other items discussed in the meeting include a proposal to raise water rates, as well as various other land annexation proposals and ordinance changes.