Town council considers noise ordinance

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By Jordan Fischer
Current in Fishers

The Fishers Town Council convened to a full house at its Jan. 18 meeting. Among the audience members were the Cub Scout Weeblos of Den 4, Pack 106, who were working on their citizenship activity badge.

Weeblos from Den 4, Pack 104

Though there were several items on the agenda, including a request to approve an uncontested bid for the 126th St. reconstruction, it was a proposed noise ordinance which garnered the most discussion from the council.

The ordinance in question would create a limit of 80 decibels (roughly the noise output of a lawn mower) at the shoreline of Geist Reservoir, and a 90 decibel limit six feet beyond the property line of a sound’s origin.

Concerns were raised by Councilor Eileen Pritchard on the latter point as to whether the restrictions would allow any bar

or restaurant to have an outdoor band under the allowed decibel level. Rick Brandau, assistant director and zoning administrator, responded that it was unlikely.

“I don’t want an ordinance that says longstanding establishments that have successfully been doing this no longer can,” Pritchard said. “The whole intent was to protect residents from constant music. I don’t want a sweeping ordinance that affects all outdoor music.”

Councilor Dan Henke offered his understanding of the bill, which was that it would be enforced on a “complain-as-needed basis” to deal with nuisances.

“I guess I would rather not have an ordinance that we’re selectively enforcing,” Pritchard said.

The ordinance was continued for further discussion. The council was then presented with a request to approve a bid from Berns Construction in the amount of $765,906 to complete the 126th St. reconstruction. The bid, which was markedly higher than town director of engineering Jeff Heiking’s estimate of $323,775, was the only one presented to the town in the allotted bidding period.

Council President Scott Faultless questioned Heiking on the unusual lack of other bids.

“We were properly posted, but only one bid came in,” Heiking said. “We don’t know why.”

The council ultimately decided to authorize town manager Gary Huff to enter into price negotiations with Berns Construction, with the option to rebid if an acceptable price could not be reached.



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