Sunday, September 24, 2023

Lincoln County residents seek remedy from unruly neighbor

The Western News | August 30, 2022 7:00 AM

Two Libby residents are seeking help from Lincoln County officials in dealing with a neighbor that they say has threatened them and used fireworks beyond the time of what is allowed.

John Bursell and Sarah Tucker both live on Rustic Avenue. They did not want the man’s name to be published for fear of reprisals, but court documents indicate the man has a criminal record in Lincoln County.

Both spoke during the public comment portion of the county commissioner’s Aug. 24 meeting. They are concerned that if something isn’t done soon, the situation could escalate to violence.

“He’s threatened me,” Tucker said. “I should be able to go out in my yard without hearing his loud music all over the neighborhood. He began using fireworks a week before July 4 and was still using them a week after the holiday. He has even shot fireworks into neighbor’s yards and that’s a fire hazard.

“We’ve called the police and they haven’t done anything,” Tucker said.

Bursell is raising three daughters and he’s concerned for what may happen, too.

“There a lot of elderly folks and children in the neighborhood and it’s concerning about what’s going on and we’d like to see something done about it,” Bursell said.

Both thought maybe a noise or public nuisance ordinance could help alleviate the problem.

Commissioner Brent Teske said he would talk with Sheriff Darren Short and the man’s probation officer to see what could be done.

“This should be covered under state law and they (law enforcement) should be able to do something about it,” Teske said.

According to Montana Code Annotated, one section of a public nuisance is defined as “a condition that endangers safety or health, is offensive to the senses, or obstructs the free use of property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by an entire community or neighborhood or by any considerable number of persons.”

Teske advised Tucker and Bursell to continue calling dispatch when things happen because it builds a case file.

“I wouldn’t want to be in that situation, too,” Teske said.