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Noise ordinance goes into effect today Maj. Thomas Long of the Sheriff Office, said the law will be enforced through complaints and monitored by two types of sound meters: handheld and scientific. The handheld instrument determines if there is cause to continue an investigation, while the scientific meter can be used in court testimony, Long said. Deputies will respond to each call and take an initial reading with the handheld device, he said. it exceeds the Carroll County noise ordinance decibel reading, we go to the source. said violators will receive a written warning to stop the noise. Officers will then return to the people who complained and speak with them, telling them what was done about the problem. If the problem continues, a deputy trained to use the scientific meter will go out to the site. The ordinance was developed to address the use of recreational ATVs; however, it provides control for all sound levels in the county. The law establishes noise levels, definitions, sensitive receptors, exemptions, violations and penalties. Starting today, violators could receive a fine up to for exceeding limits set for a residential area, which differ for day and evening. A second violation within 12 months of the first offense results in a fine and a for a third offense. Limits for industrial and commercial sites are slightly higher. The maximum sound level is lower in areas such as hospitals, elder care facilities, nursing homes, libraries, churches, funeral homes, daycare facilities and special schools. The ordinance requires that engine powered recreational vehicles, including ATVs, snowmobiles, go carts and dirt bikes be operated no closer than 300 feet of a neighboring residence. Long said the ordinance is unfortunate, but necessary. In 2004, he said that the Sheriff Office received 208 complaints about noise pollution, approximately four calls per week. Before the ordinance passed, noise was monitored by the state law and enforced by one state official, making it nearly impossible to enforce the law. The county more stringent law limits the amount of noise that is permissible in the county. all we could enforce were trespassing laws, Long said. big problem is constant noise. It when it gets really annoying that it a problem to residents. said people would complain when a backyard wedding reception, family reunion or family picnic was interrupted by noise from ATVs or saw mills. Members of the Sheriff Office are ready to begin enforcing the law. Deputies were trained last week on how to use the meters to measure sound when responding to a complaint. The Sheriff Office has three scientific instruments and 15 handheld devices. Long said if officers respond to a residence and the sound meter registers a level that is permitted no further action can be taken. A small number of sound meters are available to residents through the Sheriff Office. Long said that if they show proof of residence in Carroll County they can sign out a device for seven days to monitor sound levels at their home and call the Sheriff Office if they believe a violation is occurring. Commissioners charged us with enforcement of the ordinance and we will enforce it, Long said. been given an enforcement tool for noise pollution and we will use it. It a quality of life issue in Carroll County. End Story area >