By William Browning
WATER VALLEY – Describing what she hears on Main Street as “vulgar” and “despicable,” one citizen asked city leaders Tuesday night, “If we have a noise ordinance, what’s happened to it?”
At the August 7 Board of Aldermen meeting, Carol Brown said that loud music pouring out of vehicles in the city has gotten out of hand. Brown referenced an incident at Sprint Mart on Main Street recently when she hurried her three-year-old son back into her car because a fellow gas customer was listening “to a vulgar song.” Brown, who said similar occurrences have become commonplace in the town, asked what could be done.
“What can we do as citizens?” Brown asked. “Can we take down tag numbers? Can the police go out in unmarked cars? Is it a good idea for citizens to take down tag numbers?”
Mayor Bill Norris asked Police Chief Mike King what could be done.
“Do you know who is violating your peace?” King asked. “That ordinance requires us to get a decibel reading. And having to get those is a difficult thing to do.”
King went on to say that citizens can sign an affidavit against other citizens, and then testify in court.
“I just feel like it’s not the citizens’ place to do that if we have an ordinance against it,” Brown responded.
King said the department is doing all that it can when it comes to enforcing noise ordinances (“We don’t have the resources to send out unmarked cars,” noted King.), while Norris advised Brown to take down violators’ tag numbers.
Other business conducted at the meeting, at which Aldermen Lance Clement and Fred White were absent, included:
• The board heard from City Attorney David Burns, who reported that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had approved the city of Water Valley’s request to fund the Water Valley Main Street Association.
• The board heard from Bruce Watson, who asked that an abandoned house at 1301 N. Main Street be condemned. (The property is located across the street from some of Watson’s property.)
“My fear is that somebody’s going to buy that house (at 1301 N. Main Street), put $5,000 into it, and then rent it out,” Watson said.
“That house has been a mess for six years, ever since I’ve been here,” added Watson.
• The board agreed to place a “National Park Service, Department of Interior” sign at the recently renovated Railroad Park Pavilion. The sign is part of the grant that the city received to fund the renovations. The Water Valley Town and Country Garden Club will decide where the sign will be placed.
• The board agreed to advertise for two sewer operators and one firefighter.
• The board appointed Doris Cox to five more years on the housing authority board.
• Norris told the board that the city is seeking grants that would help renovations to the city park located on Baker Street.
• Norris also announced that the city of Water Valley is already planning its 150th birthday bash. The city celebrates that date on April 28, 2008.
• The board paid Burns $1,147.47 for work done during the month of July.