The tennis players at the Payne Park tennis courts prefer to keep the racket within the chalk lines. Unfortunately, for some of them, the racket going on at the new police headquarters across the street makes their doubles games unbearable.
“I hear complaints all the time,” said Mike Glover, a county employee who works at the Payne Park Tennis Center. “Sometimes we can’t fill courts one, two and three.”
Those three clay-surface courts are directly across the new police station, on Adams Lane, which has an air-conditioning system that is audible from the street.
The complaints began soon after the 201,000-square-foot station was nearing completion over the summer.
“It had become an issue, particularly in the alley (adjacent to the police station),” said Doug Jeffcoat, public works director.
Decibel levels, however, are within the manufacturer’s approved range and city-code guidelines. Readings taken at the tennis courts showed levels between 67 to 68 decibels, which is under the maximum of 75 decibels allowed in the city code.
And not everyone is complaining.
“When it was first installed, we could hear it inside the office,” said Randy Brown, office manager for the Nelson Hesse law firm next-door to the station. “It’s not as bad as it used to be. It’s tolerable.”
And others didn’t hear the noise at all, including tennis player Cass Franks.
“I never noticed it,” he said. “Is it on now?”
It was on.
“Oh, that’s nothing,” Franks said.
The city is taking the complaints seriously enough that it will install sound-insulation panels around the air conditioner at a cost of $30,226.
Jeffcoat said unlike most air-conditioners, which are water-cooled, this air condioner is air-cooled, which makes more noise.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].