Vehicle idling: How does it affect you?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The scenario -- you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of an idling truck approximately 50 feet from your bedroom window.

Comments and complaints from residents seem to steadily come in to Concordia City Hall, and the board of aldermen addressed the issue during a regular meeting Monday, May 20.

The existing ordinance regarding restricted or prohibited stopping, standing or parking on certain streets addresses trailers on city streets, but residents are currently concerned with trucks.

"The situation we have is people are parking their trailers (out of a residential zone) ... and then they are bringing their semis into town, and they are parking their semis in residential neighborhoods," City Administrator Dale Klussman explained. "In the wintertime, a lot of times, they are idling all night."

Klussman asked the board if they wanted a new ordinance drafted or if they were comfortable with it as is.

"There are anti-idling laws out there," Klussman said, adding they aren't in effect in a majority of Missouri.

Anti-idling laws decrease the amount of noise nuisance as well as pollution; however, they also tend to hinder all motorists from warming vehicles up during cold weather.

The questions:

* Should enforcement of the complaints be focused on noise nuisances or parking restrictions?

* Should the city address weight limits on roads in residential areas?

* Do vehicles over a certain weight belong in residential areas?

The board discussed challenges with each.

Alderman Mike Moulton questioned if idling falls under the noise ordinance, which it does.

Trucks with refrigeration units, though, must run almost constantly in order to keep the load fresh.

Disturbance of the peace complaints can be filed; however, they aren't effective unless signed by the complaining party, and most residents reportedly don't want to sign.

The planning and zoning committee is working toward rewriting zones to better define residential and industrial streets.

Subdivision regulations would focus on street constructions, which deal with weight limits.

"If we went this way ... and had restrictions on the weights, would that solve most or all of those issues then?" Moulton asked.

"In the areas where they are, yes," Klussman said. "You're going to create issues with the (independent) operators because they're going to say 'I've got an investment in a truck, and I want to be able to park my truck there.' These people are spending a lot of money on their trucks."

Aldermen discussed the possibility of other concerns, primarily the condition of streets as several have noticeable wear and ruts breaking into lanes and various intersections.

The board agreed to refer the situation to planning and zoning for more input.

City beat

* The board of aldermen agreed to move forward with a quote from Crown Power and Equipment, of La Monte, for a Kubota lawn mower at the power plant. The $18,975 bid includes a loader bucket and a backhoe with a 12-inch bucket that attaches directly to the machine. The city will finance the equipment in an effort to keep funds fluid.

* Aldermen approved relief for a water bill after a leak went unnoticed. City officials noted the city worker may have looked at the wrong meter, and recommended adjusting the bill to an average-usage amount.

* Aldermen granted a request for an extension of a water bill payment as not granting it would create a hardship on a handicapped resident requiring the use of an aid.

* The city will review information at the next regular meeting on a collapsed pipe on South Main Street from Orange to 7th streets.

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