Cape Girardeau city leaders look at noise levels

By Christy Millweard - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - How loud is too loud? That's what Cape Girardeau City leaders tried to decide by measuring sound levels around downtown Cape Girardeau.

Cape Girardeau city council, city manager, police, and citizens both who live downtown, or visit often, all met to measure sound.

They set up a sound system in a delivery truck over here in the Bel-Air patio area. There, they played different genres of music at different sound levels. Then city leaders walked approximately 300 feet to a home at Spanish and Merriwether, and then 800 feet at Spanish and William. There they listened for "plainly audible sound," meaning sound that can be heard without any sort of hearing aid device. They did the same thing in the area of Broadway and Sprigg.

City Councilwoman Meg Proffer says one of the things she learned is how a variety of things can affect the sound travel like weather and humidity.

Craig David, a Cape Girardeau Downtown area resident says his family deals with the noise problem first hand.

"We as residents are just as invested in the neighborhood as the businesses," said David. "It's about invasion of your home."

David says he too enjoys going out, but thinks there can be a limit.

"I wouldn't conduct my business at everyone else's expense," said David.

"What attracts some people to move into the area, makes some people not want to move into the area," said Proffer.

Proffer says this is a very difficult issue, but says many people just want a definite answer.

"You know everybody's so know one week this is ok, the next week it's not....we've just got to get something set so everybody knows, this is ok, this is not," said Proffer.

"Well it's easier for a policeman to say well you ran a red light, it's not that easy to say well this is an unreasonable amount of noise," said Cape Girardeau City Manager Scott Meyer.

Police say a specific set of guidelines would be helpful to them as well in order to enforce the murky issue of noise complaints.

"I hope the issue will finally be put to rest and we can enjoy the same opportunities that everyone else in town has," said David.

One woman describes the problem at "growing pains" for the city. She says its a good problem to have, because it means the city is expanding.

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