MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – This is the first year Madison County will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday under the new noise ordinance.
Fireworks fall under the basic noise ordinance in Madison County and anything over 75 decibels from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. is considered a violation.
The good news for those who love fireworks, there are exceptions for the noise ordinance on this holiday weekend.
“If we are going out to our parents house… They live out more in the country alot more open and secluded we will go for the bigger and stuff. But we’re in the county this year and not going out so it’s going to be a little bit more of the smaller traditional fireworks this year,” said Madison County Resident John Mullinix as he bought fireworks for the weekend at FatBoyz Firework stand in Harvest.
Many people celebrate independence day with fireworks and that can be noisy for neighbors. Not everyone is considerate of those around them… thats what led the people in Madison County to vote yes for a noise ordinance in 2018.
“The people voted 64.5 percent to have a noise ordinance in Madison County. Which was a resounding, yes we do want that done,” says Madison County Commissioner Phil Vandiver.
It took time to work out the kinks, Vandiver says they listened to public input and changed the ordinance over time before finally passing it by the commission.
“We started discussing fireworks and it was from leave fireworks alone and let them be shot all the time, to no fireworks basically,” said Vandiver.
The commission came to a compromise. An exception in the ordinance allows fireworks to be used on New Years Eve, New Years Day, Memorial Day weekend, July 3 and 4 and Labor Day.
“That gives the people the opportunity to enjoy the holiday, have the fun with the fireworks. But then also have a time to where people that aren’t happy with fireworks that don’t like fireworks.. Gives them an opportunity for fireworks not to be shot all the time,” says Vandiver.
The exception allows fireworks from 10:00 am until midnight on those days without noise restrictions, which Madison County resident John Mullinix agrees with.
“We want to set off the fireworks, we want to enjoy the night. We want to have some fun but at the same time, there’s a limit to it. We dont want to be having fireworks all night long,” says Mullinix.
Each violation of the noise ordinance shall constitute a class c misdemeanor and may be punished by fine.
Below is copied from the ordinance.
A. The following uses and activities, among others, are not governed by and shall be exempt from the Ordinance. It is expressly provided, however, that the following enumeration shall not be deemed or considered exclusive.
15. Noise associated with the use of consumer fireworks on January 1, the last Saturday and Sunday in May, July 3, July 4, the first Monday in September, and December 31 of each year, after 10:00 a.m. and up to and including 11:59 p.m.
This is the part of the ordinance that covers the day to day activities.
Making or causing any noise which disturbs the peace or quiet and which exceeds 85 db(A) during the hours of 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. or which exceeds 75 db(A) from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. at any property line or upon any public street or right-of-way in Madison County.