Chesterton Tribune



Praxair addresses noise complaints at Burns Harbor Town Council

Back To Front Page



Mitch Day of Praxair appeared before the Burns Harbor Town Council at its meeting Wednesday night to address noise complaints.

Day, a strategic account director at Praxair, along with Burns Harbor Operation Director Stephen Johnson, asked the Council’s help in soliciting feedback from residents.

“At the end of the day, if something is bothersome, we want to address it,” Day said, and Johnson agreed. Day said that Praxair conducted a sound survey after an expansion project last year, through which they identified three levels of intervention they can take to reduce noise. Day reported that they have already used the plan for maximum intervention and added that insulated a pipe was found to be causing the excessive noise but they were unable to trace a root cause of other noise pollution. “It’s a bit of a mystery now,” he said.

Council Member Kevin Tracy reported that he lives about a mile away from the plant, and a loud sound recently woke him up in the middle of the night. Fire Chief Bill Arney said that he has also heard it and described the sound as similar to a shop vacuum, but dull and high-pitched. The sound was so loud, Arney noted, that some residents called in to the fire station worried that something was going on.

Day said that Praxair is concerned about the noise level and needs more information to determine the source of the sound. He emphasized that knowing what day and time it happened will help. Police Chief Mike Heckman encouraged the public to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number--(219) 787-9412--if they are disturbed by noise, and said that his office can help communicate the time and location to Praxair.

Street Department

In other business, Street Superintendent Pat Melton recommended that the town reconsider its snow ordinance. That ordinance, he said--which requires residents to park on one side of the street if it snows on certain days and on the other side on other days-- is confusing and nearly impossible to enforce. The Town of Chesterton has the same kind of ordinance and is experiencing similar enforcement problems.

The Council agreed it that’s too late to consider a change this season, but it should be dealt with for next winter.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Bill Arney reminded residents that portable basketball hoops must be kept out of the street and off the curb when they are not in use. Arney said that the rims of the hoops get in the way of taller vehicles like the fire truck. He reported that the Fire Department has already hit them, as have plows and at least one ambulance. He noted that even if the base of the hoop is on the curb, the rim sticks out over the street, and is difficult to see and avoid at night.

Arney emphasized that the problem isn’t with use. “I love to see the kids out playing,” he said, “but we don’t want to damage their property or ours.” Hitting the hoops causes expensive damage to Town equipment, but it also has the potential to slow down emergency vehicles. “We could get out and pull them away from the road, but we shouldn’t have to do that, especially not in an emergency situation.”

In other Fire Department business, Arney and Council Member Toni Biancardi both expressed their appreciation to residents who have cleared snow in front of fire hydrants. Biancardi said she that she’s been seeing social media postings by residents who have done so, while Arney said that some residents have called to ask if there is an ordinance in place that requires the hydrants to be clear of snow. He clarified that there isn’t, but it’s a big help when residents take the time to shovel them out, and it could be life saving in an emergency.

Other Business

The Council approved the start of construction on underground infrastructure for Cortland’s Landing subdivision.

The Council also scheduled interviews of candidates for Town boards and commissions starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.



Posted 2/16/2018




Search This Site:

Custom Search