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News Maryland Harford County Bel Air

Bel Air considers change to noise ordinance

The town of Bel Air will introduce a proposed change to its noise ordinance at Monday's town hall meeting.

The amendment to include a paragraph on vibration intensity was discussed by town commissioners and Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola at Tuesday's work session at town hall.

When the law was written in 2003, Matrangola said, to reflect officers being trained with a decibel meter to measure noise, the town didn't include language similar to the state's law that would allow police to enforce noise vibrations that "travels much further than sound does."

"We've been unable to enforce some of the complaints that the citizens have had because the decibel meter would not read above the allowable decibel," he continued. "You could hear music and feel vibrations at someone's home, but the decibel level was acceptable."

The clause would "allow [police] to warn the violator with some teeth now," Matrangola said. He believes it will be an "effective way" to respond to residents' complaints.

Parking ticket management system

Commissioners will also need to vote on a contract with Complus for $25,620 to update the town's parking ticket management software. The town has worked with the company for four years already, Matrangola said, and the contract would be for three more years.

Software license, three hand-held citation devices and ticket management, including mailing the citations, would be covered by the contract.

The town issues about 5,000 parking tickets each year, Matrangola continued, and Complus would ideally reduce town cost by being more efficient and thus reducing employee hours.

Personnel policies

The town will consider changing personnel policies on family medical leave and donated leave.

Director of Administration Joyce Oliver told commissioners that because of federal HIPPA regulations the town cannot ask employees certain questions about their medical conditions and history.

The town, however, is working with an outside company, TASC (Total Administrative Services Corporation) that manages family medical leave with state, federal and local governments.

Working with town employees, Oliver said, TASC will "make sure people who qualify [for medical leave] are getting it."

A clarification on the town's donated leave policy has been suggested.

An employee can donate a maximum of 30 leave days per year to an employee who has none.

This, however, is not reflected in the policy and the town wishes to change this.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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