Barnwell silences noise ordinance

Barnwell City Council decided not to adopt a noise ordinance recently passed by County Council during its regular meeting July 1.
The ordinance, which is very detailed, would require officers to use decibel-measuring equipment when responding to noise complaints. Officers would have to be certified to use the equipment, which the police department would have to buy.
County council requested the municipalities adopt the ordinance.
Mayor Pro Tem Pickens Williams Sr. said noise complaints are not a problem in the city and the police department does not have the resources to enforce the ordinance.
"This noise ordinance passed by the county is unenforceable, particularly with the manpower we have," he said.
Council voted unanimously not to adopt the ordinance.
Williston and Blackville have not had the ordinance on their agendas at recent meetings.
The city does have a noise ordinance already in place, but it is much simpler than the one the county adopted.
Council did vote unanimously to approve an update to the police's vehicle pursuit policy. The new policy lays out the rules and guidelines for police to use before, during and after a pursuit. The policy gives a lot of discretion to the pursuing officer on when to start and stop a pursuit.
In other business:
Council will hold a budget workshop July 22 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall to discuss next year's fiscal budget.
City Administrator John Zawacki said because the county's hospital is now privately owned its new vendors will have to get business licenses with the city. He said he expects around 100 business licenses in connection with the hospital. That means much needed revenue for the city.
Fire Chief Tony Dicks said the city's new fire truck is coming along. He went to the Florida assembly plant this week to check on the progress. He said he expects the truck to be in Barnwell Aug. 15. He also said the fire department has received a $13,000 grant from FEMA that will be used to buy new fire hoses.