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Town listens to concerns about noisy truck brakes

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So-called "jake brakes" are bad for the ears and the streets, citizen tells council.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — A Hillsville citizen is asking the town council to put a stop to the use of compression release engine brakes.
Patti Ashley approached Hillsville Town Council members during their April 22 meeting to make the request.
“The use of these are not only very loud, but also are detrimental to the roads, structures and sidewalks,” said Ashley, who owns the Time Factory of Hillsville with her husband. “There are many communities in the United States that prohibit the use of compression braking within municipal limits.”
These places, which include the Town of Independence, notify drivers by road signs about the prohibited use of these kinds of brakes, also known as “jake brakes.”
A fine is the usual penalty.
“I would like to propose for your consideration a ban on the use of these within town limits in order to save our structures, roads and sidewalks being compromised any further,” Ashley said.
Mayor Greg Crowder said town officials would look into the matter.
In other action, the Hillsville Town Council members:
• approved a contract with the Lane Group from Wytheville for the planning of a farmers’ market area behind the Carter Home and awarded a contract for updating the town’s Geographic Information System data to Adams Heath Engineering.
• approved the recommendation of the planning commission to rezone properties at 500 S. Main St. from residential to general commercial.
Ann Largin of the planning commission believed the fact that the former Hillsville Rescue Squad building and some adjoining properties there were zoned residential was an oversight, as the former rescue station had been a gas station for years.
• approved a motion of support for the town’s first-ever gospel music day on June 1.
• approved a motion to publish a list of delinquent taxes in the newspaper.
• approved a motion to hire Spillman, Thomas and Battle as bond counsel for funding to upgrade the town’s water plant.