The Hamburg Township Board of Trustees with the help of various departments has begun the process of reviewing and codifying all of their ordinances.

Clerk Michael Dolan said that with 95 ordinances to go through, this is a huge process that began around a year ago. Some of them are near 40 years old. At Tuesday night’s regular meeting, they passed resolutions to adopt the first 17 ordinances in this process, all with ties to the police department.

Until now, every first violation carried a $50 fine with a sliding scale for each following offense. A new ordinance now recalibrates fines based on the severity of the violation on a 5 point scale. A Class A violation will bring a fine of $1,000 now, Class B is $500, Class C is $250, Class D is $125, and a Class E first-violation will be for $75. Police Chief Richard Duffany was heavily involved in the reviewing and rewriting process of all the ordinances approved.

Duffany spoke proudly of the reworked Breach of Peace ordinance. He believes this will better allow officers to address the major areas of noise complaints they get, being fireworks and disorderly conduct. The ordinance clearly dictates times that fireworks are allowed, and how far is too far for any noise to travel.

Supervisor Pat Hohl said this new noise ordinance could become a model ordinance that other township’s follow. He complimented the team for designing a reasonable and specific ordinance that defines time and distance measures for noise related problems. A Breach of Peace violation will now bring a Class C fine. Also bringing a Class C fine is the Open Party ordinance. Duffany said this means if you are in charge of a house, vessel, or rental property and you have minors there that are not in your immediate family, then you have a duty to take reasonable action to prevent them from being in possession of alcohol or drugs. He said this is a “common sense” ordinance, but they have cleaned up the language and changed the fines.

Among other resolutions approved by the board were ordinances that help with the enforcing of solicitors, marine safety, and substance abuse. (MK)