Mount Jackson seeks to quiet noisy trucks

By Ryan Cornell

MOUNT JACKSON — Mayor Bucky Miller compares the noise to the firing of a machine gun.

Councilman Dennis Andrick describes it as an extremely loud “pop-pop-pop-pop” sound, similar to what’s heard when NASCAR drivers reach a turn.

The sound of tractor trailers braking as they exit off Interstate 81 has caused a kerfuffle for some in Mount Jackson, prompting noise complaints from town residents.

Drivers who use certain methods of slowing down their tractor trailers, including exhaust brakes, engine brakes and “jake brakes,” can cause a loud jackhammer-like sound. The practice is prohibited in many towns, although it’s notably difficult to enforce.

Andrick said the noise is frequently heard from tractor trailer drivers exiting from the highway onto the off ramp.

“Most of them are very conscientious about what they’re doing,” he said. “But you got just that few, and it seems like we’ve had more than just that few in recent history.”

He told Town Council at its meeting on Tuesday that the problem seems to have worsened in the past two weeks.

Although Mount Jackson doesn’t have any jurisdiction over I-81, the town could add a sign at the town limits that would make tractor trailer drivers aware of a restriction.

Police Chief J.D. Fadley added that some towns have signs that say, “use of engine brake is prohibited,” and said Mount Jackson could add a similar sign in town.

Kevin Fauber, town manager of Mount Jackson, said the town will look at creating its own ordinance after checking to see how other localities handle the issue.

In other business, council passed a resolution that exonerates outstanding personal property taxes from 2008 and prior.

The amount exonerated this year totals about $2,300, according to Fauber.

Councilman Rod Shepherd, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the amount has been considerably higher in previous years.

“It kind of hurts when you have to exonerate $2,300 in bills when all of us here pay our bills when they’re due, but it’s a smaller number than I’ve seen in the past and I know the staff has done a great job with DMV stops,” he said.

Regarding the town’s water tower, Fauber said an inspection performed last week indicated that work is close to being completed on sandblasting the outside of the tower. The outside currently has a primer coat, he said, and an artist is scheduled to start painting the design of the basket of apples in early October.

Miller said the sandblasting appeared close to being done.

“Either that, or the spaceship has landed, because it looks exactly like a UFO coming out of there,” he said.

Town Council also:

  • Approved a resolution for Fauber to enter into a contract to install a portion of sidewalk from Shenell Drive to the new Holtzman Corporation headquarters building
  • Approved authorizing additional engineering expenses to be paid to Pennoni Associates for a redesign of the overall sidewalk project

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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