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Warner Robins amends noise ordinance giving police option to issue citations at any time

The city's noise restrictions are from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday and between midnight, and 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — You better quiet down in Warner Robins or potentially face a fine.

City council updated its noise ordinance Monday night, making it easier for police to give you a fine if you're being too loud.

All six councilmen attended May's first council meeting, and all of them supported the noise ordinance. It passed unanimously with little discussion in the night's pre-council meeting.

Warner Robins Police Department's phone center gets busy, especially on the weekends.

"We get a tremendous amount of calls about loud music and loud noises. We answer them all, of course -- it's in priority that we do these things," Wagner said.

After receiving dozens of calls about noise disturbances, Warner Robins Police Chief John Wagner wanted to amend the city's noise ordinance. He says Warner Robins does have a noise ordinance in place, but it's not stopping people from playing music too loud at night or hosting large, disruptive parties on the weekends.

"The way the ordinance was written previously that it was very scientific, where you had a decibel-reader, where you got out and tested it and then you go into homes and you get readings as well, but the problem was it wasn't picking up reverberations, the really low noises. Basically, if you put your head on the pillow, you could still hear the thumping," Wagner said.

Under that ordinance, police could only give you a citation if the noise you were creating reached a certain decibel on their decibel radar reading. Now, because council approved it, police can stop and cite you at their discretion. Councilman Derek Mack says it's going to be help control noise throughout the city.

"It could even be tools at a certain hour that people are working on houses, or lawnmowers different hours of the day or late at night, or early, early in the morning, it becomes a nuisance, so we need to be able to enforce the ordinance in the way it's been amended," Mack said.

"We felt is best to take an old-school approach to it. If the officer can hear the loud music, then they have the option to cite," Wagner said.

Chief Wagner says they will be giving warnings first, but these city citations could cost you about $100.

The city's noise restrictions are from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday and between midnight, and 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday, but you can get a citation at any time of the day.

City Clerk Mandy Stella says the ordinance goes into effect now.

Also Monday night, city council also made a decision on the location of its annual Independence Day Celebration. Councilmembers unanimously decided to host the celebration at McConnell-Talbert Stadium, where it normally happens. They had been considering whether to keep it there or move it about 8 miles away to Freedom Field. The decision to keep it at McConnell-Talbert Stadium now awaits the Houston County School system's vote for final approval.

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