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City Council hears noise complaints

Sidney Herald of Sidney, Montana

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The Sidney City Council straightened up a few city ordinances dealing with noise nuisances and heard from Police Chief Frank DiFonzo on the need to set a noise ordinance level.

Ordinance 563, presented to the council by city attorney Gerald Navratil, straightens out conflicting language in the city's noise nuisance ordinances, Mayor Rick Norby said.

The ordinance seeks to avoid confusion and supply some consistency, Navratil said, "by eliminating conflicts between sections of the city code or by deleting older code sections which are in conflict with current city code ordinances or are redundant."

In a related topic, DiFonzo noted the city needs to set a legal level of noise to help enforce noise complaints. The hockey arena is currently seeking a quieter compressor to help with noise complaints in the area, DiFonzo said.

"(The hockey association) is looking for assurance from city that it will meet requirements," DiFonzo said. "At this point, I'm not sure the city should provide that until you folks (city council members) decide whether we want to have a noise ordinance and what level we set have that ordinance set as acceptable."

DiFonzo began the process about two years ago, but it was put on the backburner to deal with more pressing issues. DiFonzo said he can visit other cities to find out what an acceptable level is considered and get draft ordinances for the council.

"It's not just the hockey situation," he said. "There's a lot of issues that could be addressed by this."

Council members also decided not to move forward yet with an SID that will help fund a drainage project from the Wagon Wheel Park area. City public works director Jeff Hintz is currently discussing the costs with landowners in the area, but hadn't contacted one of the largest owners. The council will hold off on a decision for the SID until a later date.

The council also voted, at the advice of the street and alley committee, to uphold its ordinances in the variance request from David Engstrom to allow his RV, his main residence, to remain behind his shop. Engstrom will have to relocate his RV as a result.

"There's a lot of issues that could be addressed by this.'

Frank DiFonzo

Sidney police chief

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Original Publication Date: July 26, 2015

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