Government, News

Reedsville Council receives noise complaint, business responds

REEDSVILLE –  During a recent meeting, Brandon Acres residents complained to town council about noise made by a nearby business. The business owners said they wish people had come to them first.

Elaine Ziemba asked council if anything could be done about the noise made by ATI Industries.

“I’ve lived at Brandon Acres for 24 years,” Ziemba said. “I’m a stone’s throw from the lot where the business is. We hear noise in every room of our house.”

She said the company starts work at 6 a.m. and continues until about 9 p.m., seven days a week.

“They start up their engines, motors and generators first thing,” Ziemba said. “Then the loader beeps. Its beep is shrill and sounds like a siren or an alarm. I can hear the noise over the TV, music and the air conditioner. That’s with the doors and windows closed.

“The workers yell to be heard over the machinery. They use profanity and blast their radio so loud, it has to be turned up to full volume,” Ziemba said, wiping away tears. “I can’t use my front or my back yard.”

Ziemba’s husband, Justin, said last year there was a time when the work went on all night.

“I can verify it,” John Damm said. “I live at the top of the hill. My daughter sleeps on that side of the house and I buy her ear plugs so she can sleep.”

Mayor Jason Titus said Officer Paul Rowan gave the acting supervisor a copy of the town’s noise ordinance. “He told [Rowan] he would work on the radio and the foul language. I’ll search our code book and see what we can find,” he said.

Nathaniel and Michelle Mayor, owners of ATI Industries, told The Dominion Post Tuesday they try to limit the noise to business hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nathaniel Mayor said on rare occasion his company does operate a few hours later to complete a job, but never overnight.

“I do all we can to keep the noise down,” Nathaniel Mayor said. “We shut down at 6.” He said the loader is turned off at 7 p.m., even if they work later to complete a job.

“I wish someone would have knocked on our door and told us about their concerns,” Michelle Mayor said. Other than Rowan giving them a copy of the noise ordinance, Mayor said no one has complained about noise. “One gentleman asked us if we could move one of our lights, and we did so.”

Mayor said he has asked employees to turn the volume down on the music. “I take exception about the profanity complaint,” he said. “I am on the site and I haven’t heard this. If I did, it would be stopped.”

“It was a big deal for my husband to put something into the town he grew up in,” Michelle Mayor said. “We live here. We pay our employees above minimum wage. We donate to the local VFW, to Hope House and to some of the other nonprofits.”

Both Mayors said they will talk to anyone about reservations or complaints. She said they are currently planting trees to help deaden the noise from the business and so residents won’t have to look at an industrial site.

ATV/UTV ordinance
In other business Monday, council is considering a change to the ATV and UTV ordinance to include a town permit. The current ordinance disallows four-wheelers on town streets. Councilwoman Britney Titus suggested the vehicles be allowed on town streets if the driver has a license, has a permit and obeys the speed limits. She also suggested only one person on a vehicle unless it is made for multiple riders.

Rowan said he doesn’t like giving tickets to someone going to work if they are driving their ATVs responsibly. “If they have a permit on the back of their ATV and I can see it I won’t pull them over,” he said.

Titus said he has copies of ATV and UTV ordinances from more than 20 other towns. Council tabled further discussion until it can review the ordinances and have them reviewed by the attorney.