Corning residents playing music too loud, revving vehicle engines at all hours, and firing off illegal fireworks where just some of the complaints heard by the City Council during public comment at the Oct. 13 meeting.
Public-driven reports of excessive noise within neighborhoods prompted the city to consider creating a noise ordinance.
However, Corning Police Chief Jeremiah Fears said he feels the city's current nuisance ordinance, along with the state regulations are sufficient to address the problem and enforcement.
“I have to have someone complain to the department about a noise problem to be able to do something about it,” he said. “My officers can't just go around giving people citations for being to loud with their music or parties, we have to have someone make a complaint. We need to have our residents help us.”
Corning resident Shelly Hargens said she has made complaints to the department several times concerning a neighbor who nearly every weekend plays their music very loud and shoots off fireworks.
“Often when one of my officers go the residence where the loud music is being played, and cautions the person to turn down their music, they comply, but as soon as the officer drives away, the person turns the music right back up,” Fears said.
He explained, the person making the noise complaint can issue and sign a citation against the person making the alleged excessive noise or nuisance. That citation can then be acted upon through the legal system, allowing the person making the complaint to voice their grievances in court.
Michael LePeilbet, a resident of Corning who lives near Hargens, said he didn't know that was an option, but was concerned that taking such action could elicit retaliation from the person cited on the complaint.
Fears suggested the city's current nuisance ordinance be modified to give the public and his department more “teeth” in responding to, and enforcing, noise complaints from residents.
The City Council, by consensus, directed city staff to look at the current nuisance ordinance, make suggested modifications and bring the draft ordinance back to the council at a later meeting.