MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Making decisions on the enforcement of a county noise ordinance has been difficult for the Madison County Commission. County officials knew whatever was decided was going to upset at least one group of people, and the commission wants to do what's best for everyone.
Wednesday the commission voted to approve the Madison County Sheriff's Office as the responding agency for any noise complaints.
"People will use that number and call them, and report a concern that they have," explained District 4 commissioner Phil Vandiver.
Sheriff's deputies will respond to these calls 24/7. There were fears by many these noise complaints would keep deputies busy, when there were potentially more important crimes to respond to.
"We need to understand our sheriff's deputies are normally limited at that time," Vandiver said.
Their solution is that each call will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
"If they have any major incidents going on, these will be put lower down on the priority list," Vandiver said.
The required decibel level goes down between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. It's during these hours when the most calls are received, often regarding barking dogs, fireworks, gun shots, and the Huntsville Dragway.
The commission will monitor how much this affects the sheriff's office's workload moving forward.
"We want them to monitor it and see how much of an addition this adds to their workload," Vandiver said. "If it adds a lot of work, we're gonna have to come up with some extra funds to fund them some extra people."
County officials anticipate that call volume will probably be high for the first few months and then will taper off as everyone gets used to the new enforcement system.
The sheriff's office starts responding to these calls on Jan. 15th.