Noise sparks council debate

Soldotna ponders ordinance to quiet urban nuisances

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2005

Urban nuisances including loud car mufflers, boom boxes and mischievous skate boarders briefly captured the attention of Soldotna City Council members Wednesday evening.

Mayor Dave Carey told the council he was asked by a member of the community to bring up a noise ordinance particularly governing loud mufflers on low-rider customized vehicles in town.

Council member Sharon Moock pointed out the city already has a dog barking ordinance, and Soldotna Police Sgt. Tod McGillivray said a state statute specifies that vehicle mufflers be manufacturer installed.

The problem, McGillivray said, is enforcement.

“The only way to tell is to get under the vehicle. That’s pretty impractical,” he said.

“What about stereos?” asked Moock.

City Manager Tom Boedeker said, “Boom boxes don’t stay still.”

Moock replied that they do have license plate numbers.

Boedeker said he could look into the possibility of writing a boom box ordinance, but council member Jim Stogsdill interrupted, saying the Soldotna City Council argued the issue several years ago.

“We spent weeks on that and finally determined the problem really wasn’t that bad,” Stogsdill said.

Council member Ed Sleater said it has been his experience that when people have a problem, if they get a license plate number, the Soldotna police will help.

The council did not take action on noise.

Boedeker reported that he plans to have a skateboard and cycling ordinance available for the council’s review, but with the approach of winter, he did not think the need would be immediate for several months.

Carey said he would rather see a draft of the ordinance, and “have it go out to students, to young people, for their input.”

In other business, the council awarded a contract to Wm. J. Nelson & Associates for street improvement work on Ridgewood Drive, Crow’s Nest Court and the Diane Lane cul-de-sac.

The engineering, geotechnical and surveying services will be provided by the engineering firm during the 2006 construction season for $49,367, the lowest of four bids received.

A fourth city street — Griffin Avenue — was removed from the original bid project for continued review.

In a memo to the city manager, Public Works Director Stephen Bonebrake said the project seeks to improve a single-lane substandard gravel road to a two-lane gravel road meeting the city’s standards.

Additionally, Bonebrake said Griffin Avenue is unique in that one side of the street has expensive riverfront properties and the other side has low-cost lots with high ground water, in some cases swamp.

The council also approved awarding a $100,500 contract to Quality Electric for video surveillance security systems to be installed at city hall, the waste water treatment plant and the main entrance gate of Soldotna Airport.

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