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Manning wants quiet: Dunn County Commission investigates county-wide noise ordinance

MANNING -- Noisy semi truck traffic in Manning has sparked debate among Dunn County commissioners about drafting a noise ordinance for the entire county.

Commissioner Reinhardt Hauck explained to his fellow commissioners at Wednesday's meeting at the Dunn County Courthouse that he has received calls from residents who live near Highway 22 in Manning about the loud trucks that drive through the area.

"The county does not have a noise ordinance, but the commission has discussed this before and determined that it would not really be enforceable," Hauck said, adding that the discussion was brought forward as a result of a resident asking him to do so to see if there is anything the commission would be willing or able to do to help.

Commissioner Donna Scott said she spoke with an official at the North Dakota Department of Transportation's District 5 office in Dickinson about the matter and was told the transportation department could not place any signs on the road regarding noises, unless the county wrote up and approved a noise ordinance first.

Commissioner Bob Kleeman commented that truck drivers themselves are often capable of lessening the noises emitted by their trucks, but he recognized that setting an enforceable noise ordinance for the county might do better at helping residents remedy this issue in a way that suits them best.

"(The truck drivers) are driving around with their Jake brakes on," he said. "I am off the road about a half-mile and I can hear them when they are driving through. You do not need to have the Jake brake on from Dickinson to the Badlands. It's terrible."

Hauck agreed that because Manning is not an incorporated city, the ordinance would have to be written by the county for the whole county, not just for Manning.

Dunn County State's Attorney Ross Sundeen said he believed that Mountrail County -- home to the bustling oil boom towns of Stanley and New Town -- has a similar noise ordinance already in place, and Hauck asked him talk to officials in that county about their policy and how they are able to enforce it.

The commission also asked Sundeen to take the findings and give them to the Dunn County Zoning Board so it can draft up recommendations that will be brought back to the commission at a later date.