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Morrison combating vehicle noise

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By Deborah Swearingen

To some extent, noise will always be a concern for the town of Morrison.

In a tourist-driven town that is home to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre and Bandimere Speedway, much of it is to be expected.

Now board members are discussing ways to combat a different type of noise – sound from vehicles and altered exhaust systems. The idea has come up in board meetings before but was reinforced by a recent letter from a resident.

“I think we are all used to living in a noisy town with the river and the busy roads and the concert season,” wrote resident Lisa Look in a letter to the town board. “Each year, it seems to be a little more overwhelming. “It’s obvious we don’t have much control over how much traffic comes through our little town, but I would like to see the Town of Morrison adopt a more stringent noise ordinance governing noisy vehicles, defective mufflers and altered exhaust systems.”

She suggested Morrison adopt a policy similar to Golden, who cracked down on illegal exhaust systems earlier this year. For the most part, board members seemed to agree with Look’s concerns.

Board member Brewster Caesar recommended the board take a closer look at Golden’s policy.

“I would love to both look at their law and talk with them to see if we can join forces on this,” he said.

An illegal exhaust is defined by Colorado statutes as a modification to a motor vehicle’s exhaust system that amplifies or increases the noise above that emitted by the original muffler.

“In the short, any muffler that emits noise louder than the stock muffler is considered illegal,” the city of Golden wrote in a news release. “Golden police look for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approval stamps, which are frequently seen embedded on legal mufflers.”

Golden officers will ask:

• Can they hear that your exhaust system is louder than stock muffler?

• Can they see that your exhaust system is modified?

If the answer to both is yes, officers will stop the vehicle and issue a citation. The fine starts at $200 for the first offense and increases by $100 for each subsequent offense with a maximum fine of $400.

“That’s a federal EPA requirement, so it’s up to individual jurisdictions whether they adopt it or not,” said board member Allen Williams.