Letter: Facility will cause many problems if it is built

From: Melinda Gail Johnson


I would like to make the residents of Columbus aware of a possible land use change which could adversely affect the tranquility of our city. Property just west and a bit north of Noblitt Park (downtown Columbus) on State Road 11 has been sold conditionally to a concrete and brick recycling company. My husband and I live in the Lagoons area which is due west of the proposed site. We, and many other neighbors, are very concerned about this land use change for the following reasons:

1. The noise the facility will generate. We already can hear interstate traffic from our property. The proposed recycling facility will generate about 75 decibels of noise during operation, according to documents submitted for review. It is interesting to note that among the documents submitted a chart showing comparable decibel levels of everyday items were shared. While the decibel readings for the proposed equipment fall in the same category as a vacuum cleaner, a garbage disposal or a toilet flushing (taken from a chart provided by the manufacturer of the recycling equipment), who would want to hear that level of noise constantly going? Those home appliances don’t run for hours on end.

2. The flooding potential for the areas surrounding the proposed site. It goes without saying that 2008’s record flooding of Columbus had devastating effects on homeowners locally. With the recycling facility just across the Flat Rock River from our neighborhood, any manipulation of the current farmland to accommodate the installation and running of the equipment would serve as yet another barrier which would funnel flood water toward the housing along the Flat Rock River and beyond.

3. Generating of excessive dust. We are concerned about the level of dust which would be generated and blow from west to east across the downtown Columbus area. Would it prevent us from enjoying our waterfront property?

4. Hours of operation. So far, we have not been informed of the proposed hours of operation. Will this facility run only during daylight hours? What if it is a 24-hour facility?

We recycle so much at our home and understand the proposed company’s desire to contribute to this effort. We do not deny the facility’s right to exist and to contribute to the greater recycling efforts. We do object to the adverse effect it will have on our property values and those of our neighbors. When I mention neighbors, I am not speaking exclusively about the Lagoons area. This recycling facility could affect those who enjoy visiting Donner Park, listening to the marching band at a football game at Columbus North, or eating outside in the many downtown restaurants.

The zoning committee will meet again Sept. 26 at City Hall to make a decision whether to allow this facility to be built or not. I urge residents to become informed and participate in the means necessary to halt this action.