PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence Mayor Brett Smiley wants the capital city to quiet down.
Smiley is looking into how the city can crack down on excessive noise coming from businesses, residences, vehicles, fireworks and landscaping equipment.
“We have a sound ordinance in Providence that has been, almost entirely, unenforced for many years,” the mayor said, adding that the city frequently receives noise complaints.
Smiley recently set aside $42,000 in his proposed budget for decibel readers.
“In order to effectively enforce the noise ordinance, we have to have professional sound equipment,” he said. “These are handheld devices that register the decibel levels of the sounds coming out of a nightclub, a house party … even a vehicle.”
Smiley tells 12 News workers with the Providence Board of Licenses will be trained on how to use the decibel readers, and officers will be required to issue citations to anyone who violates the noise ordinance.
The Providence Noise Project applauded Smiley’s approach and urged him to develop a comprehensive policy to reduce excessive noise.
That plan, according to the nonprofit organization, should include a excessive noise public-education campaign to “…better inform Providence residents about its long-term effects on physical and mental health, education and child development, and civic cohesion.”
“Noise is a significant public-health issue that needs to be addressed proactively to ensure the well-being of everyone who lives, works and spends time in the city,” the Providence Noise Project said in a statement. “
Smiley’s proposal isn’t set in stone, since his budget has not yet been approved by the Providence City Council. The mayor’s budget proposal is still under review, though a vote is expected in the coming weeks.