Police Get "Another Tool" To Crack Down on Late-Night Parties
City Council also approves gym for city employees, design study for Old Bowie Trail.
The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that will give Bowie police officers the authority to issue civil citations for noise violations, which only city code enforcement officers were previously authorized to do.
While city officers could charge people with criminal offenses such as disturbing the peace, they could not cite people for violating the city code, a civil offense.
The ordinance was in response to late-night parties, taking place from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in "a couple" of city neighborhoods, according to City Manager David Deutsch.
The city's code compliance officers who are responsible for enforcing the Bowie City Code are not on duty at night when those noise violations often occur.
"This ordinance provides the city with another mechanism for code enforcement," said City Attorney Robert Levan. "This ensures that code enforcement will go on 24-7."
Deutsch said that police officers will not get involved with code enforcement issues such as putting trash out too early. Code enforcement officers will continue to handle those infractions.
"The impetus for this was the late-night party situations. This is just another tool in the toolkit," Deutsch said Monday.
In other business, the council also approved a $46,768.05 bid from Houston-based Pro-Maxima MFG Ltd. for a fitness room for city employees in the new city hall. The city had set a $70,000 budget to purchase exercise equipment. Four bids were submitted ranging from $39, 249.62 to $74,857.91.
According to a memo by Deutsch, "the City of Bowie has always taken great pride in caring for the well being of our employees. To this end a fitness room was included during the design of the new city hall. The Fitness Room will be equipped to meet the needs of all of the City's employees to include strength training and cardio fitness."
The council also approved a $292,256 bid from North American Communication Resource—the city's current vendor—for an upgraded city voice communication network, which will include the addition of a phone system at the new city hall.
The new city hall is set to open in February.
The council also voted Monday to waive bidding requirements and pay $40,500 to a consulting firm for design drawings of a portion of the proposed Bowie Heritage Trail, which would run from Zug Road, along the railroad tracks to 10th Street in Old Bowie.
The city moved to waive the competitive bidding process in part because the city intends to apply for reimbursement of project costs from the State Highway Administration's Transportation Enhancement Program and the March 1 deadline for applications is approaching.