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Colonie silent on noise law

There was a lot of noise to be heard 60 decibels to be exact at a public hearing Thursday, June 11, about the new laws Colonie officials are considering regarding legal noise levels in the town.

While the topic was debated for more than two hours Thursday, the Town Board decided not to act on the laws, which would have lowered the noise limit at night and created a daytime limitation.

Those who spoke at the hearing argued against the current nighttime level of 75 decibels, saying that constant exposure to 75 decibels or more of noise could contribute to hearing loss. Many also supported a daytime restriction, citing daytime parties that can cause a disturbance and damage their quality of life.

Several exceptions to the laws that are being considered were discussed at the meeting, including the noise caused by snow plowing in the winter, stricter rules and even a fine for dog owners whose animals bark for more than 15 minutes, and trucks that are loading and unloading at a warehouse.

Democratic Councilman Bob Becker said the laws simply clarify definitions of the existing law and include more restrictions so that the residents of the town are able to enjoy the quality of life they pay taxes for.

Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider told the board that while he supports lowering the limit of the current decibel allowance and recognizes that noise issues can be a nuisance for some residents, he would like the board to strongly reconsider some of the new restrictions on the table before passing a law that is nearly impossible to enforce.

According to Heider, the police department receives about 350 noise complaints per year, usually involving loud parties. Heider said the calls come typically from the same 200 properties.

"We really don't have a lot of complaints," he said.

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