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Groves council to measure decibel levels at Methodist church; complainant explains his concerns

GROVES — The Groves city council agreed Monday to further look into a noise complaint surrounding a local church.

Last week, city prosecutor Jesse Branick opted to dismiss the case and municipal judge Mike Simon approved a motion for dismissal in the noise complaint against First United Methodist Church of Groves.

At the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, the city council agreed to use a decibel reader to gauge how loud the church bells ring.

Groves resident Patrick Reeves said he was the one that filed the complaint when he addressed the council.

“I’ve done my homework,” he said to the council. “I didn’t just wake up out of bed and go and file this complaint. This has gone on over a year and a half. I have never got anything done with these people. They have thrown me in the bushes and they don’t want to talk to me.”

Reeves told Port Arthur Newsmedia the church had turned down the volume on the bells for about nine months before the volume was raised again in June.

“I’m not even against them having bells,” he said. “I just want them to turn it down to how they had it.”

Charlie Jehlen, a member of the church, thanked the council for the ruling.

“I’m very grateful that the city has chosen to not pursue the noise complaint against the church,” he said. “…The community support given to the church and its ministry is very humbling and encouraging. It is apparent a tradition Methodist presence is still welcome in Groves.”

Reeves said people who are trying to make it seem like he is against the church are taking him out of context.

While the city took no action in any direction Monday, Mayor Brad Bailey and City Manager D.E. Sosa said the issue would remain on the agenda as long as the council sees fit.

The council did not give a timetable for when they will check the decibel readings on the church bells.

Reeves said he plans to attend future council meetings with the hopes of coming to a solution.

“It would be a simple fix to just turn it down,” he said.