Wall Street resident Sybil Smith said she remembers a time when Summit Street was filled with juke joints and the blues, but nowadays she mostly hears booming car stereos that vibrate windows and throw off her fiancee’s pacemaker.
“Wall Street wasn’t always this loud,” she told the McComb city board on Tuesday. “It has really gotten out of hand.”
Smith said she believes one or more of the people blasting music has a police scanner because as soon as the police are called, the music is turned down.
Once the police leave, it is right back to the original volume, she said.
McComb has a noise ordinance that bars “excessive, unreasonably loud and disturbing sound.” Sound coming from a motor vehicle that can be heard outside of that vehicle is in violation, according to the city’s ordinance.
“It is showing an outright disrespect of the law,” Smith said, noting that many of her neighbors do not believe anything can be done to enforce the ordinance. “They have many of the old ones in Burglund afraid. ... (They) don’t want trouble with the young folks.”
Smith said the pestering has boiled over into harassment, noting that because she often calls the police on those playing loud music, they will sit outside of her home playing music to spite her.
She noted a particular experience when a neighbor was outside with friends and all of their cars were loudly playing music. She pulled over and tried to get their attention to turn it down. She said the men could not hear her so she stepped onto their yard to find the owner of the property. The owner then pulled a gun on her.
Smith said she spoke with Police Chief Garland Ward, who told her the police would “bombard” the area with police to try and solve the problem. She also said she spoke with her ward’s selectman, Ronnie Brock, who said he would help get speeding and noise signs on the street.
Brock told Smith he has since spoken with Ward and Public Works Director Alice Barnes about the issue, noting a speeding sign will be going up soon, and they are still looking for solutions on the noise ordinance.
Smith was not alone in this issue. Retired McComb School District Curriculum Director and resident of South Locust Street Ruby Husband addressed the board with a similar problem.
“Believe me when I say that I’d never come before this board for any reason,” Husband said before telling about her experience. “I’ve got some decisions to make. I can’t live like this.”
Loud music has slowly become a problem in the area and Husband called the opening of Da Place nightclub a key factor.
She said music from cars and the store, which abuts residential areas, has become unbearable, but what pushed her over the edge is the fact that she has heard gunfire multiple times recently and picked up shell casings from her yard the next morning.
Husband also said the older people living in a nursing home near her cannot move as she can, so she felt it was important to try and fix the issue for them.
“Twenty-four years I have lived in that spot. Then some Da Spot gets privilege tax license and ruins all of this,” she said.
Selectman Devante Johnson, who represents Husband’s ward, said he and other city officials spoke with the owner of Da Spot. He said the owner is trying to reduce noise but believes it mostly comes from cars in the parking lot.
“Mrs. Husband, we’ve heard you loud and clear,” Johnson said. “We met with the operator of Da Spot, and we had some great conversations about putting some measures in place so that we don’t have the loud noise.”