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Loud music disturbs neighbors

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 5/24/22

Loud and disruptive noises from private parties held at the Bedford County Ag Center have caused several residents on nearby Decatur and Alta streets to file noise complaints.  

Among them is …

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Loud music disturbs neighbors

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Loud and disruptive noises from private parties held at the Bedford County Ag Center have caused several residents on nearby Decatur and Alta streets to file noise complaints.  

Among them is Diana Winfrey who said one of the first loud music occurrences was on Saturday, April 16. It started at 3 p.m. and went until 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. She said the music was so loud that her windows rattled.  

“My neighbors and I called Saturday afternoon and police came out two times and asked them to lower the music,” Winfrey said. “I called back at 10:30 and the police dispatch said it was in the county and couldn’t do anything about it.”  

The next occurrence happened on April 30. Winfrey said she called Bedford County Sheriff’s Department at 11:35 p.m. but the music didn’t stop until 12:30 a.m.  

On May 7, loud music began at 5 p.m. By 8:30 p.m., it got even louder, according to Winfrey. “So, I called the County at 8:35, but they said to call the police.” Winfrey did, but the music again didn’t stop until 12:30 a.m.  

Resident Delorse Taylor, who’s lived at her home near the Ag Center for 35 years, said, “You might as well be down there with them, it’s so loud.”  

Though she has called out law enforcement before, she said the guests at the center will cut the music down and then they’ll turn it up again once officers leave.  

“And after a while, the police get tired because they know it won’t do any good,” Taylor said.  

Taylor said she contacted Shelbyville City Council Member Marilyn Ewing. She advised the T-G today that this is a county issue.  

Resident Brandy Presley added, “It’s frustrating when it’s 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. We don’t have issues with the building having events there, per se, it’s just when they’re playing the music—you shouldn’t have to hear it 10 houses down.”  

“So just be mindful. We do have older couples in the area who go to bed early,” she said. “Even when they do the tractor pull, those are loud, but we don’t hear that over here.”  

The Ag Center can be rented out for private functions, but according to agriculture board chairman Bill Anderson, events should be over by 10 p.m. and facilities should be cleared by midnight. They also do not allow alcohol at the center.  

“The ag center is an affordable place for average people to rent that’s not grossly expensive.”  

He said some of the complaints came from building 2 on the facility.  

“But if there was a disturbance, the Shelbyville Police Department or the Sheriff’s Department would gladly go out there and fix it . . . . They’re usually really good about patrolling that area,” Anderson said.  

The center is in City limits and it is County property. Sheriff Austin Swing said they can answer calls in the City or the County.  

But the City has more road officers and less mileage to cover and are more beneficial for residents.  

“If we get a call and it’s somewhere out in the County, be it a next-door neighbor, or somebody’s making a lot of noise and keeping them awake, we obviously go to the call. Usually, the officer will try to ease into the situation and listen. Quite honestly, complaints can get over exaggerated. So, it’s kind of his call,” Swing said.  

“But if he does get out there and it’s noisy, then we go up there and tell them there’s been a complaint . . . .Most of the time they comply, but if not, then we issue a citation.” There’s not a noise ordinance in the County. 

According to zoning director Chris White, the County does not have the ability to control noise ordinances until the County Powers Act is in place, which gives the County the ability to control issues like excessive noise.  

However, the City of Shelbyville has under its codes document, the “Anti-Noise Regulations” from section 10-225, which states “subject to the provisions of this section the creating of any unreasonably loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noise is prohibited. Noise of such character, intensity, or duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of any individual, or in disturbance of the public peace and welfare is prohibited.” 

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