Tunkhannock Borough made its case regarding a borough noise ordinance on Tuesday during a hearing with representatives of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Through the ordinance, the borough would allow Tunkhannock Borough Police to take over the PLCB’s responsibility for noise complaints at borough establishments licensed to serve alcohol, though the ordinance also addresses noise in general.
Solicitor Paul Litwin presented borough manager Dawn Welch and Chief Keith Carpenter as witnesses in front of hearing examiner Charles Gibbs and PLCB assistant legal counsel Kathleen Marzzacco.
During questioning from Marzzacco, Welch confirmed that Tunkhannock Borough Council decided to move forward with a noise ordinance after a suggestion from Carlos Penedos, owner of The Blogg Bar & Grill on East Tioga Street.
Carpenter said he believes his police department could effectively enforce the ordinance.
During the hours of 3 to 6 a.m. when the department isn’t staffed, he said the Pennsylvania State Police would pass on any non-emergency complaints.
When a complaint comes in regarding a licensed establishment, Carpenter said an officer would respond to the location and investigate from where the complaint originated to determine if the noise violates the ordinance.
Officers would preferably speak with the establishment’s owner and let them off with a warning if they resolve the situation immediately.
If not, then officers could issue a citation for not complying with the ordinance.
Tom Daniels, legal counsel for The Blogg, testified that allowing borough police to address noise complaints at establishments serving alcohol would be more effective and efficient.
Additionally, he predicted that few noise complaints regarding these establishments would occur during the off hours of the local police department since state law only allows them to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.
After the hearing adjourned, Marzzacco told Litwin that the PLCB will likely come to a decision about the borough’s exemption within the next few weeks.