As recommended at the Wednesday, Sept. 10, Bethlehem Town Board meeting, the Noise Ordinance Task Force has been expanded from five members to nine as the group prepares to begin drafting a new local noise law for the town.
The board unanimously approved the addition of one town board member and three residents, as expected. Councilman Mark Hennessey confirmed he would be working with the task force, which is headed by Councilman Sam Messina.
The other three residents have yet to be named, Hennessey said.
This is something that is very important, said Hennessey. "This will be a new local law."
The current task force includes Deputy Police Chief Tim Beebe, chief code enforcer Gil Boucher, and residents Robert Jasinski and Jennifer DeFranco.
Messina said he planned to increase the number of meetings the task force holds and would be providing the rest of the board all e-mails, public comments and documents pertaining to the proposed new law.
"I think this is very consistent with what were talking about," Messina said about the task force expansion. "We will be ramping up our meetings."
Councilman Kyle Kotary, who recommended the expansion at the previous meeting, said he thinks it was the right choice.
"I think this is great to expand and have four more members on the [task force]," Kotary said following the vote. "I'm very supportive of this."
During a well-attended public hearing earlier in the year, the majority of residents spoke overwhelmingly in favor of the noise ordinance. A vocal minority did speak out, saying a noise law would be overly regulative and could be used to harass neighbors if not drafted properly.
Messina said that out that out of 40 e-mails the town received about a possible noise law, only two were against the ordinance.
"Almost all of those were supportive of the noise ordinance," Messina said at a recent meeting.