Dickinson County Supervisors Adopt Vehicle Noise Ordinance; Postpone Action On Proposed Agreement With Arrowwood Resort For Use Of Some Of Their Facilities For Upcoming Trial

Tue 9-15-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- An ordinance regulating noise from vehicles in unincorporated areas is going on the books in Dickinson county. The Board of Supervisors voted 5 to noting today (Tues.) to approve the 1st reading following a public hearing that drew no public opposition. A motion to waive the 2nd and 3rd readings and to adopt the ordinance passed on a four-to-one vote with Supervisor Tim Fairchild voting no saying he wanted it to through the additional readings to get more input.

Supervisor Kim Wermersen helped draft the ordinance. He says it was based on complaints and a petition with more than 60 signatures on it calling for something to be done. He says it comes on the heels of months of work...Vehicle Noise Ordinance01 

"There's been a lot of leg work and research on what this will mean, and of course an ordinance like this is no better than the enforcement. So without Sheriff Baloun backing this as well, we would just be throwing things to the wind. And will it be the answer? We don't know that. But I think a few proper stops will help."

Assistant County Attorney Lonnie Saunders told the supervisors the ordinance sets limits for noise based on the size of a vehicle...Vehicle Noise Ordinance02 

"We're looking at 88 decibels for semis, trucks over 10,000 pounds, and 80 decibels for vehicles under 10,000. Those are measured at 25 feet from the source, and so if there is a complaint and if the officers are able to chase the complainant, or the perpetrator down, then they would measure the sound level from 25 feet from the source."

Saunders added the Sheriff's Office will be ordering a couple of decibel meters to assist with enforcement and that some signage may also be put into place. He says the ordinance will also apply to farm vehicles.

In other business, the supervisors postponed action on an agreement with Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center that would allow the county to use some of their facility for an upcoming large trial. It was reported talks are underway for a settlement. The county was seeking the larger venue to accommodate social distancing requirements.