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Brock Township looking at possible changes to noise bylaw

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: The Township of Brock is looking to address the issue of an increase of noise complaints in the community.

At a meeting on Monday, August 23rd, Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill made a motion for township staff to draft a report looking at possible changes to the township’s noise bylaw, including “increasing the fine to $500 with the fine doubling with every reoccurrence within one year,” providing a cost for noise measuring equipment and training and research adding decibel levels to the bylaw.

“Complaints about noise have doubled in volume, and these nuisances have caused some tremendous strife in the township. It’s very difficult for [the bylaw department] to get on top of this, and in many cases, there are difficulties between neighbours [which] seem to be unresolvable,” Councillor Pettingill explained.

The Ward 4 Councillor added a higher fine is necessary “in some cases to get the attention of people who are causing the nuisances.”

Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell questioned if this would address the issue of fireworks in the municipality.

“Noise, in general, could relate to anything, which would include fireworks. We can work with staff in regards to looking at our fireworks bylaw and include any reference to setting off fireworks with respect to making noise,” Clerk Fernando Lamanna responded.

Regional Councillor Ted Smith cautioned Council there is a cost to implementing these measures.

“We all have to recognize the fact most noise complaints happen at night,” he said. “So, this is going to have a budgetary impact. Whether we decide to expand the hours our bylaw staff [work] or hire more bylaw staff and have them work weekends, I think it’s all part and parcel of the same issue. It’s something we’re going to have to keep in mind at budget time,” he stated.

Council later unanimously passed Councillor Pettingill’s motion.

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