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Moriah rejects noise law

PORT HENRY - The Moriah town board has decided against adoption of a noise law.

A committee investigating a possible law to deal with noise complaints in the community has determined no additional legislation is necessary.

Trustees Rick Carpenter and Tom Anderson said they discovered the state law dealing with disorderly conduct should suffice.

Besides, they noted, local laws can be difficult to enforce.

"Looking at other (towns') laws we found they're unenforceable," Carpenter said. "Are we going to buy a (noise) meter? Are our police always going to be measuring decibels? How many decibels are too loud?

"Do we need more laws or can we rely on common sense?" he asked.

Anderson agreed.

"I'm wary of more intrusive government," he said. "To me, less is more."

The trustees said people with noise complaints can call police who, if appropriate, can charge an offender with disorderly conduct.

Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, who appointed Carpenter, Anderson and Moriah Police Officer-In-Charge Steve Stahl to investigate the issue, agreed with their recommendation.

"We know there were problems in Witherbee where state police told people nothing could be done because there is no noise law in the town," Scozzafava said. "But we now know other ordinances apply. We need to talk to police and ask them to enforce the existing law."

Anderson stressed those with noise issues have legitimate concerns.

"I don't want to ignore the (noise) situation," he said. "People shouldn't be bothered in their homes. Police need to step up and enforce the laws."

Scozzafava said he checked with other Essex County supervisors and found seven area municipalities with noise laws - the towns of Ticonderoga, Chesterfield, North Elba and Jay along with the villages of Keeseville, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

Each of those communities provided Moriah with a copy of its law.

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