Which one?

Published 11:08 am Monday, January 23, 2012

WINDSOR – Some counties struggle because they lack a noise ordinance.

Bertie County has no such issue – the county has two on the books.

During their meeting Jan. 9, the board was asked to decipher which of the two would be used in enforcement in the future.

Bertie County Sheriff John Holley said he had received noise complaints, but wasn’t sure which ordinance the board wished him to use in enforcement of the grievances.

Assistant County Attorney Jonathan Huddleston said the county had adopted two ordinances that were roughly the same. The main differences, he said, was in how the offensive noise was measured.

One of the ordinances requires the use of a noise-measuring instrument which would dictate whether or not the complaints were justified. The other used a standard of “any sound which is perceived by a person of ordinary sensibilities as being substantially incompatible with the time and location where created and to the extent that it creates and actual or imminent interference with peace or good order.”

Board members discussed the use of a device to measure decibels, thereby the ordinance more defendable in court.

Holley said he would prefer that route, but warned that each of his officers would need to be fitted with the equipment to check noise levels.

Board members decided to have Interim County Manager Morris Rascoe research the cost of such devices and report back at a future meeting.

In other business, the board:

  • unanimously approved a proclamation supporting Martin Luther King Jr. Day;
  • agreed to hold a board retreat to discuss various items with Rascoe;
  • approved a filing fee for the 2012 election of the Bertie County Register of Deeds;
  • heard a presentation from Architect Jimmy Hite on the new Bertie High School; and
  • listened to public input from Republican Party Chairman Garry Terry requesting the board reconsider their decision not to have meeting broadcast on the internet.