Supervisors Hear A Lot Of Noise Over Noise Ordinance

The owners of two racetracks in Harrison County say there's no way they can shut down at 9pm,  as the proposed noise ordinance requires.

"We do try to get the races over by 10:30, 11:00. Sometimes depending on the breakdowns and how fast a car goes, we sometimes we have to race a little bit later," Theresa Reese, owner of the Gulfport Dragway said.

South Mississippi Speedway owner Lynn Bates says, "What people pay for is the last race of the evening."

The cars race every Wednesday and Saturday night at the Gulfport Dragway. The South Mississippi Speedway on Menge Avenue races on Saturdays only April through October. Reese and Bates say an 11:30 or midnight curfew would be easier to meet.

For others, their concern is an asphalt plant off Highway 67 that operates at night, keeping them awake.

"That noise is like living next to an airport. I don't know what decibals they run at but it's louder than it's ever been," says Highway 67 resident Walter Cole.

Another resident, Steve Robbins, says, "The people that own the plant said they wouldn't run but like regular hours, maybe knock off at 6 in the evening and wouldn't work on the weekends."

The plant's attorney says asphalt work goes on Sunday through Thursday nights. The company is working on Interstate 10 and its contract with the Mississippi Department of Transportation requires night hours and asphalt at a certain temperature.

"This is not something my client requested MDOT to do. This is something MDOT requires to do because of safety and also the handling of traffic," attorney Albert Necaise says.

The supervisors took no action on the proposed noise ordinance. Supervisor Larry Benefield says the board needs clarification on whether MDOT can override the ordinance when it comes to night road work. The supervisors say it could take as long as a month before they get the answers they need before voting on the ordinance.