GREENBRIER -- The city council moved to combine six nuisance ordinances into a single ordinance for a collective policy and discussed the need to upgrade water meters and create future fireworks guidelines during its Monday meeting.
The nuisance order in essence takes over six previous nuisance ordinances and stands as a collective policy for officials to reference during residents' disputes.
"It consolidates six older ordinances regulating property, noise and animal issues, where several items in those old ordinances needed to be amended, simplified and updated," Dustin Chapman, the city's attorney, previously told the Log Cabin. "Instead of the council trying to update and revise all six different codes ... this is a much simpler way to bring these rules together under the same heading. We want people to easily understand what types of issues are prohibited nuisances, and it makes it easier for our code enforcement officer to answer questions from property owners."
The ordinance prohibiting offensive property nuisances, noise nuisances and animal nuisances within the city that was introduced to the council earlier this year was approved during the Greenbrier City Council's regularly scheduled meeting Monday night.
Regarding property complaints, the ordinance defines such nuisances as "[a]ny circumstance or action conducted or maintained by a person upon his or property, by either conducting specific actions, or allowing actions to take place, or by their failure to take corrective action upon their property to alleviate prohibited conditions" that endanger or injure others, that offend standards of common decency, that are generally offensive, that interfere or obstruct sidewalks and/or roadways and anything that "essentially interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property, or tends to depreciate the value of the property of others."
The city's code enforcement officer is subject to give residents a violation notice when a property nuisance offense reportedly occurs, giving the property owner or tenant 10 days to correct the offense. Those who fail to correct an offense after 10 days of receiving a notice face a $250 fine.
The council also defined a noise nuisance in the updated ordinance as offensive and unnecessary noise that includes "annoying vibration(s)" and animal noises, such as excessive barking.
Among noise violations is a quite period — 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. — were residents are not to play their radios, televisions, instruments and other "music amplification device[s]" too loud, or where they can be heard from 50 feet away from the source.
Local authorities are authorized to cite violators immediately for noise violations, which can also result in a $250 fine.
Regarding animal complaints, the ordinance defines such nuisances as "[t]he circumstance of any animal or behavior of animals found to have molested passerby, neighbors, or passing vehicles; attacked other humans or domestic animals; trespassed upon school grounds; repeatedly roamed at large; damaged private or public property; continually barks; whiles or howls, or has made any other noise in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion; caused fouling of the air by odor and thereby create[s] unreasonable annoyance; interfered with refuse collection or other service personnel; or defecated upon the property other than the property owned by their owner, keeper, or harbored while at-large or while under restraint."
Those who are found to have violated the animal nuisance potion of this ordinance are subject to a misdemeanor citation and also face a $250 fine.
In other business, alderman discussed the need to upgrade the city's water meters and look at establishing a fireworks policy.
Mayor Sammy Joe Hartwick said there is an opportunity to upgrade the city's water meters at a cheaper interest rate and that the new system would feature better technology that would allow the water department to function more efficiently.
"There is new technology that can show us if someone's toilet is leaking," he said, noting the new system would also allow residents to log-in online and monitor their water usage.
Aldermen discussed the need to upgrade the city's water meters and lines, and will make a decision next month on whether to move forward with plans to upgrade water meters in Greenbrier.
Jeff Ward, the city's water superintendent, encouraged aldermen to consider opting for an upgrade, adding that current meters are outdated.
Before the monthly meeting drew to an end, Hartwick also addressed the need for the city to adopt a fireworks policy.
Police Chief Gene Earnhart said the police department received around 120 calls during a two-week period regarding fireworks complaints and that having a set policy would be beneficial.
Aldermen entertained the idea of regulating the ability within city limits to shoot off fireworks during a three-day window — the day before, the day of and the day after the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.
While the noise ordinance also covers fireworks being shot off, aldermen agreed it would benefit the city to have a set policy specifically pertaining to fireworks.
Because the September council meeting falls on Labor Day, the meeting has been reset for Tuesday, Sept. 4. Greenbrier City Council meetings are held at city hall and are open to the public.