Chesterton Tribune



Praxair answers Burns Harbor noise and vapor complaints

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Praxair Commercial Director Mitch Day paid a visit to the Burns Harbor Town Council to address complaints heard at the January meeting regarding a “shrill noise” neighbors have heard coming from the facility off of I-94 and Boo Rd.

Resident Gayle Van Loon said she could hear the noise at different times during the day and had asked if anyone from the Town knew why. Fire Chief Bill Arney said then that the noise, sounding like “a vacuum cleaner,” was part of the new construction on the separation towers.

Van Loon also raised concern over a cloud of water vapor from the cooling tower that moved in over Ind. 149, saying that it could be hazardous for drivers.

Day said that once told about the complaints, Praxair about a week ago identified the noise source as one of the valves inside piping and was able to insulate the area.

It had started, he said, as the facility is finishing work on putting in new ground infrastructure to run all three of its distillation columns. The columns have been there for many years, Day said, but the plant has never had the resources to run all three units. All units should be running in about a month, he said.

Day said he believes the “obnoxious” noise has been fixed but asked that if anyone does hear it to let the plant know. “We plan to revisit it in the spring. There are other waves of things we could do,” he said.

Van Loon and Council President Ray Poparad said they hadn’t heard it recently.

As for the vapor, Day said they have been using water to replenish a cooling tower but the fans hadn’t been in full operation, otherwise the vapor would be directed upward. There was some time during the recent cold weather when some ground level fog was created, he said.

That should no longer happen when the fans are fully running and Praxair will be installing remote cameras next month to provided “a better sensibility” of where the water vapor is going, Day said.

Council members thanked Day for the efforts and the report.

“I appreciate you doing this. We’ve been hit up pretty hard,” Council member Marcus Rogala said.

“Not a problem. We’re here to be a good neighbor. We hope to be here for many, many years,” Day said.

Road paving bid awarded

In other business, the Council accepted, on a 5-0 vote, Global Engineering’s recommendation to award Reith-Riley Construction its spring paving contract, for $217,928.

Engineer Scott Kutcha said Reith-Riley was the lowest bidder, compared to a second bidder, Walsh & Kelly, whose bid was $228,567.

The bid will cover all three paving projects -- .3 miles of Westport Rd., .2 miles of North Salt Creek Rd. and .17 miles of Navajo Tr. Having one lead contractor will give a consistent level of quality between the projects, Kutcha said.

The Town will provide a match of $96,856 for a grant being awarded from the State’s Community Crossings fund. With the grant, the Town’s share will be $121,071, Kutcha said.

The Council earlier in the meeting agreed to establish a fund to allocate money for the matching grant, with unused available funds in its CEDIT, CCD, Motor Vehicle Highway funds, and its Local Roads and Street fund. Those monies will be moved into rainy day funds for the grant, with $24,000 from CEDIT, $10,013 from CCD, $55,000 from the Motor Vehicle Highway fund and $9,239 from Local Roads and Streets.

Poparad said he had the chance to talk to the regional state highway foreman from the Indiana Department of Transportation, who said the state will be coming to clear the ditch along Haglund Rd. to alleviate drainage and ready the road for paving. Council member Toni Biancardi said the costs will be about 20 percent of what had been estimated when the Town looked at drainage work there.


Posted 2/9/2017




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