DOUGLAS — Noise concerns and what can be done about them to help improve the quality of line for residents inside the city limits was addressed by the Douglas City Council at the Aug. 12 city council meeting.
Douglas Police Chief Kraig Fullen stated that noise complaints are an ongoing concern for residents and an ongoing enforcement challenge for his department. With that in mind he recommended some proposed updates to the noise ordinance of the Douglas Municipal Code.
The chief met with the mayor and council during a July 29 study session where the proposed amendments will establish what he describes as clear, fair and obtainable noise ordinances needed to educate the community and enhance police response to citizen complaints related to noise violations, to include progression of enforcement and is intended to improve the quality of life for our residents. The violations could be for loud music, parties, fireworks or vehicles and needs to be constant for at least 15 minutes before it can be considered a violation.
The ordinance, which passed the first reading by a vote of 5-1 with Ward 6 Councilman Jose Grijalva voting against, will be enforced between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Penalties could range from a warning to either a civil or criminal citation which would carry fines of $100, $250 or $500 depending on the number of times officers are called back to the location the noise is coming from.
Grijalva voted against the ordinance saying he felt the $100 fine was too high and should be lower.
“I think the starting fine is a little excessive,” he said.”A few months ago we had a proclamation to our face masks as a health issue and that fine is $50 and it stays at $50. There are no criminal penalties or additional charges. I think the first fine is excessive. I think the first fine should be $40. I don’t think we’re being too consistent when it comes to laying out the fines.”
The proposed ordinance still has two more readings before it goes into effect.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Pro-Tempore Margaret Morales recognized the following businesses for their years of service to the community: Pollito Cafe, five-years; Monreal Tire Shop and Car Wash, 10-years; Jeff’s Auto Clinic, 10-years; and Douglas Realty Group, 10-years.
The mayor and council also approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a service agreement renewal between the City of Douglas and the Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO) in the amount of $40,000 to be used in the transit program to maintain services for the elderly and disabled individuals in the City of Douglas and surrounding community.