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Berkeley Co. noise ordinance amended

March 20, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission, acting on the advice of legal counsel, amended the county's new noise ordinance Thursday to clarify language in the document and delayed putting the new rules into effect until May 1.

Before a 2-1 vote was taken to adopt the revisions, Commissioner Anthony J. "Tony" Petrucci reiterated his support for the noise ordinance in prepared remarks.

"It has been long overdue in having this ordinance and I know it will work," Petrucci said. "Will there be issues that as a county we have to work out? Yes. However, with patience on both the commission and the people of Berkeley County, we will make it happen."

Petrucci added that owners of the Tomahawk Motocross track must try to meet the decibel requirements that will be put into effect.

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If the track still is having problems with meeting those requirements, Petrucci said he would be open for further discussion on the situation and willing to work with the business to come up with "other alternatives concerning the noise ordinance."

Commission President Ronald K. Collins again voted against the noise ordinance Thursday. He has suggested the adoption of the rules would put the motocross track out of business and questioned the legality of such a code change.

Petrucci said he has fielded a number of phone calls about the ordinance from out-of-state residents, but none locally.

In a separate action, the commission approved the purchase of 10 decimeters for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department to be able to enforce the new noise ordinance.

-- Matthew Umstead

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