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Dunbar Township mulls noise/disturbance ordinance

| Saturday, July 5, 2014, 1:27 a.m.

Dunbar Township supervisors directed its solicitor to draft a noise/disturbance ordinance on Thursday night after several women complained about excessive noise levels in their West Crawford Avenue neighborhood.

Supervisors John Tabaj and Keith Fordyce asked solicitor Tim Witt to prepare the ordinance for the August meeting. Supervisor Ron Keller was absent.

Karen Bradley and twin sisters Joan John and June Beal told the supervisors that they cannot sleep at night because one of their neighbors is up all night long disturbing the peace.

“We actually have to drive away from our home and sleep in our cars if we want to get any rest,” John said. “If we don't do that, we're up all night long. We're totally exhausted.”

In addition to excessive noise levels, the women said they are convinced that their neighbors are involved in “illegal activities.”

“We have called the state police, and they do come to investigate,” John said. “But as soon as the police arrive, our neighbors settle down and the police leave.”

Bradley said the state police have more important crimes to investigate than excessive noise levels.

“I think it's really the township's responsibility to help us with this issue,” Bradley said.

Even if the supervisors adopt a noise/disturbance ordinance, Witt told the women it will be very difficult to enforce.

“But we can have the code enforcement officer investigate the noise levels and also make sure that the renters are complying with the township's property maintenance code,” Witt said. “The officer can cite them if they aren't in compliance.”

If the code enforcement officer does write citations, Tabaj asked the women if they would be willing to testify against their neighbors.

“We're not afraid to come forward,” John said. “We're willing to do whatever it takes to have this issue resolved.”

In other business, Witt said he recently researched the legality of former township supervisor Larry Mayros receiving unemployment compensation when he lost a re-election bid.

Although it is not legal for a township supervisor to receive unemployment compensation after he loses an election, Witt said Mayros receives the benefits because he lost his road master position.

“The voters elect three supervisors and then it's up to them to appoint road masters,” Witt said. “Sometimes, the supervisors are employed as road masters. That was the case in Dunbar Township.”

Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.

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