A Southwire senior executive last night told the Carrollton City Council the company might not be the root cause of the consistent noise in a subdivision near the plant.
Marcelle Roy spoke at the council meeting on behalf of residents of The Cottages of Carrollton, saying they are still being plagued by a humming sound. She called off the names of some of the residents who are being affected. In the past, Roy has said that the noise was so troubling that many residents could not sleep and some were considering selling their properties. The subdivision is where Councilman Gerald Byrd resides.
Jeff Herrin, Southwire’s executive vice president and president of the company’s Industrial Division, spoke about the measures the company has taken to resolve the issue.
“We take seriously anytime we have a report or input from the community by any of our factories, so it is true that we’ve been working closely with the residents of the community for a number of months,” Herrin said.
When Southwire first got reports of a sound issue in the neighborhood, Herrin said the company went in and did some studies on its own to determine exactly what was the issue was and where it might be coming from.
During this time, Southwire found a piece of equipment its personnel thought might be contributing to the noise. Southwire eventually constructed a building around it with acoustic insulation in an attempt to reduce noise levels. He said the company continued with overhauls and improvements with other pieces of equipment, thinking that would reduce the decibel readings. Despite the efforts, community residents returned to say they were still hearing noise.
Herrin said Southwire also looked into reports from residents and checked those readings as well.
“Every time we got feedback we tried to correlate what was happening with the factory,” said Herrin. “The short answer was we never could correlate any of the activities at the plant that related to these incidences of the feedback we’re getting from the community. So ultimately we did find a couple of fans on the back of the building and we went in and replaced those. We had some ventilation fans above the main part of the building that were running at different RPM rates. We went in and we harmonized those to get those running at the same speed.”
Herrin said that seemed to have a positive impact and that Southwire did studies at the property lines.
That was when the company began to believe that it was not the main cause of the noise issue in the community. Herrin said that for a few days during safety training in October, the plant was shut down. Despite that, there were still calls coming from residents claiming the noise was unbearable. Southwire got a few more complaints when the plant was shut down for a moment, which led Southwire personnel to believe that there might be another source of the noise.
“So that’s starting to tell us we are not the root cause of this noise issue in the community,” said Herrin. “I believe when the residents tell if there’s a problem, we are not here to question whether or not there’s a problem. The issue is we are not the root cause of the problem. I do think that with the noise ordinance that we do have in Carrollton it is very difficult for a compliance officer to go out and determine whether or not it was a violation, so Southwire would encourage the council to put together a noise ordinance and get them something measurable so a plant officer could go out and do a field test to determine whether or not the factories or the rest is in compliance so that they could do their work, and we could do everything for the community. We think this would be great for the industry and we fully support that and everything that we can do to help the council.”