Bedford City Council Passes Noise And Weed Ordinance

(BEDFORD) – The Bedford City Council passed the second reading of a noise ordinance and approved the amended weed ordinance Monday night.

The noise ordinance was put in place to give Bedford Police officers a way to enforce the average 50 complaints a year they receive from residents.

The third and final passage will occur at the next city council meeting.

“There was never a noise ordinance on the books and this allows the Bedford Police Department to have tools to address complaints called into the department,” said Bedford Mayor Sam Craig.

Following their vote on the noise ordinance, they also passed the penalties that go with violating that ordinance.

The amendment to the weed ordinance would allow the city to contract out lawn services to mow lawns which are in violation of the lawn ordinance, so city employees are free to do other work other than mowing lawns.

The ordinance will also establish a fee schedule for the services for mowing those lawns.

In other business:

  • Approved amending the bereavement leave for city employees, making the ordinance the same for 24-hour and 8-hour employees.
  • The new rates and charges for sewer were passed. The city council members said that upgrades to the city’s infrastructure are needed and the last rate increase was in 2012. Mayor Sam Craig also informed the city council members that the bids for Wastewater Treatment Plant came in $2 million less than anticipated. Hopefully, the savings from that project will be used toward other projects that must be completed.

Below is an example of what the current sewer rates are and a example of the future rate increase.

Current Sewer Rates / Future Rates / Difference

  • 1,000 gallons – $17.25 / $20.87 / $3.62
  • 4,000 gallons – $36.42 / $44.06 / $7.64

The city council also authorized the city ordinance to allow for the city to issue bonds related to the Wastewater Treatment Project.

In the final business, there was a discussion on the amount of money the city pays to the Stonegate Arts and Education Center. Currently, the city contributes $160,000 a year to Stonegate.

However, the city council wants to know what kind of plan the Stonegate Arts and Education Center board has so they are less reliant on the city’s contribution and generate revenue to be able to support themselves on their own.

The city council will request information on their proposals to generate revenue by the September city council meeting.

Currently, three colleges use the facility with one of those universities contributing to the costs of using the building. Other institutions have been given free use of the facility for a period of time. The city would like the Board of Directors to give them a three year plan on how they are going to generate revenue for the Center. In January, Director of Stonegate Arts and Education Center Gene McCracken presented city council members with a detailed financial report on where revenue comes from but no plan on how they are not going to be reliant on the city’s contribution.