Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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July 19, 2012

Making noise

Council members exposed to sound levels to aid in deciding proposed noise ordinance

By CHRIS AGEE | cagee@mineralwellsindex.com

Though council took no action Tuesday night on a proposed noise ordinance update, members received an earful of various noise levels through demonstrations and a live music performance at a downtown restaurant.

Following a public hearing on the issue of noise disturbances, primarily originating at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the council meeting went into recess and reconvened at a parking lot across the street from the City Hall annex to measure ambient sound levels.

Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan led the demonstration, which included officers playing music through a squad car’s speakers, raising the sound level incrementally up to 90 decibels (dbA).

Using a device to measure sound levels, city officials observed about 65 dbA from ambient noise. The police vehicle used to create additional noise was parked 50 feet from the observation point, the same distance officers would use to enforce the proposed noise ordinance in a public place.

Officers increased music levels to 90 dbA, which Sullivan said is “as much tolerance as I could give.” State law limits sound levels to 85 dbA, which he said also represents the maximum level a city could adopt.

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