County may name building after Walter Marshall

County may name building after Walter Marshall
September 21
06:00 2017

Naming a building after the late Walter Marshall and changing the county’s noise ordinance where among the many things county commissioners discussed in their meetings on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Commissioners approved numerous items and were briefed on several more that  will be voted on during their next formal meeting on Sept. 28. Among those items for future consideration was naming the Social Services building the Walter Marshall Building, in honor of the county commissioner and former local NAACP president who died this year. Marshall was a longtime member of the county’s Social Services board.

This was a measure pushed by Fleming El-Amin, who was appointed to fill Marshall’s seat.

“I’m looking forward to the celebration,” said El-Amin, who’s hoping to have the naming ceremony next month.

It’s not been determined how the name change would be denoted on the building. County Manager Dudley Watts said staff is preparing options for the commissioners to choose from.

New Noise Ordinance

Another item commissioners plan to vote on is a new noise ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county. Currently the noise ordinance prohibits “any unreasonably loud and disturbing noise” that has the “character, intensity and duration as to be detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of any individual.” It mentions possible disturbances like animals or car horns that create noise for prolonged periods of time. It says amplified sound shouldn’t disturb residents, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., and shouldn’t be heard 100 feet from the device. Violations are a class 3 misdemeanor that can be fined for up to $500.

The new ordinance being considered, which is modeled after the one in Mecklenburg County, is much more detailed. It restricts front-end loading garbage trucks, construction equipment, garage machinery, lawn mowers or other machines that makes more than 60 decibels of noise between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. in residential areas or within 100 feet from a structure used as a residence.

The new ordinance restricts sound amplification to 55 decibels between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and to 50 decibels between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. as measured at the nearest residential property.

There are some exceptions to the rules for permits issued by the Sheriff’s Office, county festivals, first responders and farms. Violations are publishable with civil penalties between $100 and $500 with a charge of $500 per day for those who continue to create offending noises.

Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt suggested that the permit fee be reduced from $500 to $25. Commissioner Don Martin pushed for updating the ordinance and was pleased with the proposed changes.

“I think it’s pretty clear and I don’t think it’s excessive,” said Martin.

During public comments, Melissa Phipps of Kernersville talked about her own issues with noise from a nearby farm that plays music during numerous events it holds like corn mazes, holiday events, birthdays and weddings. She said she’s been able to hear the loud music on her property for years.

Approved Items

Also during their meetings last Thursday, the commissioners:

• Approved up to $465,717 in incentives over a five-year period for Johnson Controls expanding its Walkertown facility, which makes automotive batteries. The possible expansion would add 60 full-time or full-time equivalent jobs that pay $19 dollars an hour on average. The vote was 7-1 with Whisenhunt as the sole “no” vote. She appreciated the expansion, but felt that an incentive of more than $7,000 per job was too much.

• Appropriated $229,064 in State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grant funds to improvements at the Forsyth County Detention Center.

• Selected Jordan Consultants for landscape architecture and civil engineering services not to exceed $68,000 for five playground replacements and one new playground at county parks in a 2016 park bond project.

• Selected Allied Engineering for surveying and civil engineering services not to exceed $70,000 for an addition to the multi-use trail at Tanglewood in another 2016 parks bond project.

• Renewed the Forsyth County Public Library’s participation in NC Cardinal, a project of the State Library that allows libraries across the state to have a single, shared catalog, which costs  $19,677.20 annually.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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