DANVILLE — A debate that started more than a year ago over whether to establish a county nuisance ordinance ended Tuesday with no action taken.
County commissioners decided not to pursue a nuisance ordinance. In May of last year, Sheriff David Galloway had asked the board to consider passing laws regulating noise and door-to-door sellers outside of corporate limits, saying his department was receiving an increasing number of complaints on both.
There was little opposition to a canvassing ordinance. Commissioners last year approved regulations requiring solicitors to buy a sales permit and be limited to selling between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Political and religious canvassers, as well as businesses with established customers, are exempt.
A proposed ordinance on nuisance noise has been a whole other matter. Commission President Eric Wathen repeated Tuesday what his concerns about such a law have been all along.
"It comes down to, you're using the county to settle your personal beef with your neighbor," he said. "I really struggle with that."
Debate over the matter reached a boiling point in August of last year when a number of neighbors along County Road 950 East, in an unincorporated area north of Brownsburg, attended a commissioners' meeting to complain about nuisances like dogs barking all night.
Greg Steuerwald, the county's legal counsel, confirmed that the state already has a statute regulating noise nuisances. It allows such conflicts to be resolved in civil court. Wathen noted that if the county established its own nuisance ordinance, the county would be the one bringing civil suits and defending them in court.
"If we pass this, whenever neighbors get into a fight, guess who ends up paying for it? The county," he said. "I don't think that's fair to the rest of the taxpayers. I feel for the people that have issues with their neighbors, but there's a mechanism now for them to deal with that."
In other business, commissioners approved Indianapolis engineering firm DLZ soliciting bids for security upgrades at the county jail.
DLZ projects a cost of $2.2 million to replace security electronics including graphic control panels and consoles, as well as to update its video recording and guard tour systems, and install video visitation. The project also includes various remodels and updates to the facility.
Scott Carnegie, project manager for DLZ, said he expects bids to be opened at the Oct. 23 commissioners' meeting. Construction should commence in November, with substantial completion by July.