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City of Ringgold to keep noise levels at bay

Ringgold City Council is in the process of passing a noise ordinance to keep noise levels down throughout the city.

The ordinance unanimously passed on first reading Feb. 11. The second reading is on the agenda for the next City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. inside Ringgold City Hall.

“The district of received sound source that is the maximum permissible sound levels for residential is 65 [decibels] and commercial is 70 [decibels],” said Ringgold Councilman G. Larry Black, reading the ordinance.

According to Industrial Noise Control Inc. (www.industrialnoisecontrol.com/comparative-noise-examples.htm), conversation in a restaurant or office, background music and air conditioning units 100 feet away produce about 60 decibels. Radio or TV audio and vacuum cleaners produce about 70 decibels.

Upper 70s — a passenger car going 65 mph 25 feet away, the freeway from 50 feet from the pavement’s edge at 10 a.m. and living room music — “are annoyingly loud to some people,” it goes on to state.

Garbage disposals, dishwashers, the average factory and freight trains about 49 feet away yield 80 decibels. A flyover by a propeller plane at 1,000 feet, food blenders and a motorcycle 25 feet away are closer to 90 decibels and result in likely hearing damage with eight hours of exposure, according to the site.

The city will either borrow a decibel meter from Catoosa County or buy one in order to measure noise levels, said Black.

“The maximum permissible sound levels established by this article shall be reduced or increased by the sum of the following... Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. the noise levels shall be reduced by 5 [decibels] for receiving property within residential districts, except for noise from electrical substations and existing stationary equipment used in conveyance of water by a utility,” Black read.

Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., the applicable noise levels may be exceeded for any receiving property by no more than 5 decibels for a total of 15 minutes in any one-hour period, 10 decibels for a total of five minutes in any one-hour period and 15 decibels for a total of 1.5 minutes in any one-hour period.

“It’s a draft ordinance that I understand came from complaints of someone bringing truckloads of dirt in off Battlefield Parkway into Battlewood Estates at 1 a.m.,” Black said, adding that he doesn’t remember the city receiving complaints on a party. “The city of Ringgold Police Department will enforce the ordinance once it passes on second reading. I think having the ordinance will help [enforce keeping noise levels down] if someone is doing work on a house late at night. We will probably borrow the Catoosa County decibel meter before we invest in one.”

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