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Swanzey will consider noise ordinance

SWANZEY — Town officials are mulling over quality of life ordinances for the town.

Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to place a noise ordinance proposal before voters at the March Town Meeting.

They are also considering an ordinance that would prohibit residents from stockpiling junk on their properties.

“Like any other town, large or small, to the taxpayers one of the most important things they want from their EMS services and other services is they want quality of life, and I think a noise ordinance is a quality of life issue,” said Swanzey Police Chief Thomas R. DeAngelis, who presented the police- and prosecutor-crafted proposed noise ordinance to the selectmen.

The town currently doesn’t have a noise ordinance and the state law regarding noise is vague, DeAngelis said. If voters approved the noise ordinance, police responding to a noise complaint would have more weight to resolve the situation, he said.

In the typical noise complaint case such as fireworks or loud parties, police would continue to issue a warning first. But if the noise continues, police would have the power under the proposed ordinance to issue a town fine, DeAngelis said.

Like any town fine, the individual would have the power to object to the fine in court if they choose, DeAngelis said.

The amount of the fine has not been determined by board members yet, he said.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to curb every (offense),” he said, but added it would be another tool officers could use.

The selectmen are also considering proposing an ordinance that would prohibit the stockpiling of junk on properties.

This is a public health concern first, DeAngelis said, but also a quality of life issue for residents.

“A lot of people want their neighborhoods to look good,” he said.

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