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Citizens for Holding Ginnie Springs Accountable request Noise Ordinance be enforced

The Gilchrist County Commission listened when Eddy Scott, a member of the Citizens for Holding Ginnie Springs Accountable asked the Commission to have the Gilchrist County Noise ordinance enforced at Ginnie Springs Park. Mr Scott is a resident of the community that lives within an area that is often disturbed by the loud music and people attending the park, partying and getting into the disturbing noise after dark.
He reported that this past Saturday night the noise was out of hand. He explained that he could hear the disturbance at his house, which is within a mile from the Ginnie Springs Park. “The noise is disturbing, but when you go inside your home with the air conditioner running it does not seem to be as bad. When we got ready to go to bed at 10:30 p.m., the loud music was still blaring, and we could hear the disturbance when we tried to go to sleep,” Mr Scott explained. He pointed out that he and several other residents in the residential area called the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office to have an officer investigate and ask the patrons to please turn down the noise.
Mr. Scott presented the Commission with some recommendations in a previous meeting that would identify the enforcement side of the Gilchrist Noise Ordinance. These procedures were recommended to be added to the Gilchrist County Noise Ordinance guidelines and followed to the letter. If a noise level is found to be in violation of the article, the enforcement officer at their discretion shall give warning to the person or persons responsible for the unnecessary, excessive or offensive noise. If the excessive noise is not eliminated or abated within a reasonable time after warning, a citation may be issued or the person in possession or control of the causes of the noise may be arrested by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office and charged with violating this Noise Ordinance.
If the ordinance is enforced, the violations would be determined to be civil penalties with the first offense- $100. fine; second offense - $250. fine; third offense - $350. Fine; and after that, each additional offense would result in a $500 fine.
Mr. Scott explained to the Commission during their Monday afternoon meeting that the entrance to Ginnie Springs was one of the most littered places he knew of in Gilchrist County. He did point out that a group of volunteers led by Trail Trash had picked up over ten large bags of trash since the weekend from the area around the entrance to Ginnie Springs Park. Mr Scott explained that the traffic going into Ginnie Springs has improved, but the summer is not over yet.
Mr. Scott asked if the Commission had met with the owner-operator of Ginnie Springs, Mr. Mark Wray to discuss some of the issues that the residents living around the park are most concerned about.
Mr. Bobby Crosby, Gilchrist County Administrator reported that he had shared some of the groups concerns with Mr. Wray during a telephone conversation, but the county planned to meet with Mr. Wray as soon as the summer slows down.
Commissioner Sharon Langford requested Mr. Scott contact Sheriff Bobby Schultz to see if he could sit down and share his thoughts with the sheriff.
Commission Chairman Todd Gray thanked Mr. Scott for bringing this information to the Commission and making them aware that issues are still a concern at Ginnie Springs Park. Commissioner Gray explained that Ginnie Springs is working with Gilchrist County in cooperation to the issues that have been reported. This is a work in progress, let’s continue to all be involved and communicate to make Gilchrist County a great place to live.
Ray Rauscher, a resident of the Rock Bluff community, reported to the Commission that the North Gilchrist County Fire Department building, located on County Road 138 in North Gilchrist County was a very active voting precinct last Tuesday voting over 200 residents in that area. He added that the building is in great shape and the people using the facility are enjoying meeting in this location.
Mr Rauscher reported that North Gilchrist Fire Department is no longer an active fire station. “It would behoove the county to place a manned fire unit back at North Gilchrist Fire Department. I would be in favor of raising taxes to supply a staff to be placed at this location,” Mr. Rauscher added.
Gilchrist Clerk of Court Todd Newton reported to the Commission that the Gilchrist Courthouse facilities committee had met last week and the Supervisor of Elections would like to move their office to the former Gilchrist County Tax Collector’s office location. Mr. Newton explained that some renovations would need to be made, but he didn’t feel it would be a major reconstruction.
Mr. Bobby Crosby reported that the Supervisor of Elections did have some revenue in her budget for some of the renovation costs. The Commission briefly discussed this issue before Commissioner Kenrick Thomas made a motion to approve the recommendation from the Courthouse committee. Commissioner Poitevint gave a second to the motion before the board approved the motion by a unanimous vote.