by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers
MILTON - Thirty-three-year Milton resident Tim Enloe has been trying to get the Milton High School to reduce the noise it makes for years now. According to him, whenever the drum line plays or a game is held, his windows rattle and the dogs get skittish. After years of attempting to get the problem solved, Enloe finally decided to take a unique and drastic step – he requested that council allow sewer on his Bethany Road property.
He made his case before the council during a work session last week, arguing that the noise was making his home unbearable to live in. Council denied his request.
"Don't you hate it when what you paid for isn't what you get?" read the opening lines of a video skit Enloe made for the council. Kermit the Frog was shown ordering lunch and repeatedly telling the waitress that he had asked for no crickets on his sandwich. He's ignored. Enloe likens himself to that frustrated frog, saying that all his complaints since the school was built have fallen on deaf ears. His only option is to sell his property and leave.
"Do I want to sell? No, I want to stay," explained Enloe, "but I'm not going to live the rest of my life like this, hearing this noise in my home."
"All I'm asking for is what I paid for," he added. That is, peace and quiet, two values that a rural community should be perfect for.
But what does this have to do with sewer? Simple – if Enloe tries to sell his property, he will have to disclose any environmental problems that may affect potential homeowners. A recurring noise that rattles windows would fall into this category. This will lower his selling price. To make up for that lost money, Enloe needs something else to sweeten the deal. That would be sewer access.
The council thought otherwise.
"There was never any interest from me or the council in extending sewer to his property," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. "It looked like he was requesting the sewer out of frustration of the noise problem he's having with the school."
The city's noise ordinance is already fairly strict. A year ago, Montana's restaurant on Highway 9 battled with a neighboring subdivision, Bethany Creek, over loud music late at night. The city considered lowering the decibel level of noise that is required to be noise pollution but eventually abandoned the idea as too restrictive.
"If we lowered [the noise level] anymore it would have had unintended consequences, like kids playing in a pool or birthday parties. Things like that," explained Lockwood.
Unfortunately for Enloe, the city has no control over the school, which is under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education. The best city leaders can do is explain the situation to the school principal and hope for a solution.
Until that time, Enloe will just have to suffer quietly in his own home.
"I don't want to leave," said Enloe. "I just want quiet."