After receiving a complaint from a resident about noise near her home, Curry County commissioners chose to move ahead with the idea of creating a noise ordinance.
A woman, who only identified herself as Becky, spoke to commissioners during the public comment session at their meeting Wednesday and said noise issues near her home have made life very difficult. With no county ordinance in place, there is little law enforcement can do when her neighbors play loud music at all hours, Becky said.
“It’s deliberate, and they know it,” she said. “They think they can do this because there’s no noise ordinance in the county. It’s all day. I can’t even go on without this boom, boom, boom of a subwoofer. This has got to be stopped. People can’t continue to do this and ruin our lives. Something has to be done for my rights.”
Commissioner Chris Paasch recommended commissioners consider a noise ordinance, saying he would lead the effort if the other commissioners approved.
“I think law enforcement and code enforcement needs to be the ones to deal with whether they’re doing this, how far and how fast it should be dealt with and if it’s a warning or it’s a fine,” Paasch said.
Sheriff John Warn told commissioners said noise issues are no just one-sided.
“I personally haven’t taken any complaints from this lady,” Ward said. “I know she’s frustrated, and I feel her pain, but we also have to deal with other people’s rights. As far as what’s reasonable, that’s a judgement call.”
The sheriff said he would ask for more patrols in the area for the time being to help ease any concerns. Ultimately, he said if the county did create a noise ordinance, enforcement would fall more on code enforcement than his staff. He explained his deputies primarily enforced state law, while code enforcement concentrated on county ordinances.
After hearing from the sheriff, Paasch said he would happy to spearhead the effort.
“I would like to volunteer to pull up some ordinances and bring that back for a workshop with code enforcement,” Paasch said.
Commissioners Court Boice and John Herzog agreed to let Paasch move forward.
The board also took a stand for small businesses in Curry County, signing on to an effort from Douglas County that asks Gov. Kate Brown to reconsider the strong measures taken to combat COVID-19.
“We are seeking refuge in the effort to protect our rural economy,” Boice said. “Economic security is a pressing issue in Curry County, and the current state lockdown policy continues to have direct negative economic, behavioral health and social consequences.”
Boice said the letter he was asking commissioners to support was one page and laid out how the state lockdowns have impacted smaller counties.
“It’s not a finger pointing game or blame game,” he said. “This is where we are at what we need for our businesses and communities.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to support the letter and to ask the state to establish accurate hazard levels, noting Curry County has never had the problems other counties have.