The Fulton Town Council, at its regular meeting Monday, May 18, approved amendments to Ordinance No. 185 C regarding the maximum decibel levels allowed in the Town of Fulton.
Fulton Police Chief Rick McLester noted almost 10 years ago, when the ordinance was first enacted, the council approved a maximum of 60 decibels, but that proved to be too low. It was later increased to 70 decibels.
At Monday’s meeting McLester suggested making the decibel levels the same as the City of Rockport’s.
A motion was made and seconded to approve an amendment setting the maximum decibel level at 85 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and 80 between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Discussion followed, with Sugar Shack and Legend’s owner Donna Townsend asking that the hours allowing 85 decibels be extended to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
She said the current restrictions in place due to COVID-19 limits the number of patrons she can have inside each of her businesses.
“Entertainment might be outside,” she said. “If the wind is blowing, it can be a problem (with sound carrying).”
She said she can’t open Legends with just 25% capacity inside, but she does have a patio in that location.
“Sugar Shack has more of an outdoor area (available for use),” she said.
McLester said the old Paws and Taws created some problems, as well, with the entrance facing inland, toward homes. Music could be heard whenever the doors were open. He said the design of the new convention center alleviates most of those issues.
Alderman Craig Bohn said he wants to make sure residents have a way to complain, and know (McLester) will respond to those complaints.
“If it’s okay to have a business (that plays music), it’s okay for us to sleep,” he said.
The vote was taken on the motion on the floor, and it was approved 4-1, with Bohn casting the dissenting vote.
Alderwoman Beverly Garis then made another motion to extend the 85-decibel level to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, since that is generally when the bands are playing.
That motion was seconded and approved with the same 4-1 vote.