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Commissioners deny noise permit for charity, bull riding events

SALISBURY — A fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital may have to go on without a noise permit after the Rowan County commissioners on Monday turned down a request for a site in west Rowan.

David and Shelly Velazquez requested two permits to exceed the noise ordinance on their property at 1025 Barringer Road. One was for the fundraiser Saturday that would be a horse trail ride. Another was for a bull riding event on May 25.

The commissioners relied on speeches from neighbors about prior incidents when noise was too loud and call logs from Rowan County 911 Communications showing complaints about the noise.

A vote to deny the request was unanimous.

Noting the 911 call log presented Monday, commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said it “would be crazy to say ‘yes.'”

The log showed about 30 total calls about noise at the property from June 2015 to March. In some cases, multiple calls to 911 came on the same day. Neighbor Lisa Metcalf told the commissioners that music for parties at the site is turned down immediately after sheriff’s deputies arrive, only to be turned back up after some time has elapsed.

Metcalf said the events at the site are often children’s birthday parties and weddings, making it tough to call law enforcement about the noise.

Others complained that cars also play loud music when leaving events at the Barringer Road property.

Responding to complaints from neighbors at the meeting, David and Shelly Velazquez said people who have events on their property sign contracts that cite noise-related requirements. They also said they cannot control how people act when they are leaving in their personal vehicles.

Monday wasn’t the first time the commissioners have considered a noise permit request for the property. Commissioner Mike Caskey noted that there are concerns about unpermitted events at the time of a 2016 request, which was ultimately approved.

Commissioner Craig Pierce said events at the Barringer Road site “had not been following the guidelines.” Noting complaints about parties turning up the volume after waiting for sheriff’s deputies to leave, Pierce said, “It’s almost like ‘OK, they’re out of sight. Let’s turn it back up.'”

In other business:

• As part of the consent agenda, the commissioners approved an ambulance franchise application by American Trans Med Inc.

The company, which already has a contract in Cabarrus County for nonemergency services, would be able to transport emergency and nonemergency patients in Rowan County.

In a letter included with Monday’s agenda, Rowan County EMS Division Chief Lennie Cooper described the need for the new ambulance service.

“Novant Health Rowan Medical Center has difficulty in getting discharged patients that require ambulance transportation out of their facility,” Cooper wrote. “I have worked with them for years searching for a long-term solution. To date, those solutions have not been sustainable.”

• The commissioners made a number of board appointments.

Jim Sides, a former county commissioners chairman, was reappointed to the Rowan County Board of Social Services. Sides has been a long-serving member of the board. He will serve three more years.

Christopher Kleinsorge was appointed to a two-year term on the Ellis Volunteer Fire Department board.

Caskey was appointed to a two-year term on the Enochville Volunteer Fire Department board.

Jeffrey E. Miller was appointed to a term ending December 2020 on the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department board.

Michael Deal, Barbara Simmons and Eddie Beaver Jr. were appointed to two-year terms on the Mount Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department board.

Michael Julian submitted and the commissioners accepted his resignation from the Rowan Transit System Advisory Committee.

Sam Wetmore, Robert F. Turner and Wesley Hastings were appointed to two-year terms on the Woodleaf Volunteer Fire Department board.

Contact editor Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4248.

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