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Ordinance Amended After School’s Bell Is “Too Loud”

Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 27, 2012

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich- Reformed Heritage Christian School in Kalamazoo Township found out they were in violating of a noise ordinance after a neighbor across the street complained.

“You don`t expect that at a school a bell is going to be an issue,” Dave Vander Meer, administrator for Reformed Heritage Christian School said.

Vander Meer says it all started when a neighbor called police to complain about the noise the bell made.

The bell is located on the back side of the building, just 50 feet away from a residential area. After the complaint, the school did some checking and found out the decibel level was too high, they even tried to fix it.

“A board member built a box around it and left the top and the bottom open so the sound could go up and not our towards the property line. We also put some foam on the bottom of the bell,” Vander Meer said.

Vander Meer was cited for breaking the ordinance, one that impacted much more than just the school’s bell.

“Other school bells probably were not within code, football games were probably not within code, the band practices outside would not have been within code,” Vander Meer said.

On Monday night, the Kalamazoo Township Board of Trustees voted to amend the current noise ordinance.

Willie Starks, a neighbor, says the bell never really bothered him.

“I realize what it is, it`s a school bell. It isn`t someone in the street booming music, it`s a school bell. I think it`s nice that they are taking measures, but why would someone complain about a school bell. I`m just really, I`m speechless,” Starks said.

The new ordinance would allow them to use their bell without the box, but they have no plans on taking it off the bell at this time.