Citizen registers noise complaint

Published 11:09 am Friday, March 18, 2011

WINDSOR – A complaint about noise from Liverman’s Metal Recycling has been heard by the Bertie County Commissioners.

Monday morning, the board heard from James Baker, a citizen who lives approximately three-tenths of a mile from the recycling facility. He said the noise level was disturbing for him and others in the area.

“The noise is pretty good from the highway (N.C. 11), but not as much as from Liverman’s,” Baker said. “I understand a recycle business is needed and I regret the necessity of addressing it.”

Baker first made his complaint to Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb, who asked Economic Development Director Steve Biggs and Planning Director Traci White to look into the issue.

“The citizens stated that noise associated with operation of the facility had not been bothersome until recent months when the hours of operation changed to 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.,” a report from White and Biggs said. “He stated that the noise level is bothersome early in the morning and at times the sound of an explosion will rattle his house.”

The two went to the facility and met with co-owners Scotty Liverman and Muriel Hendrix. During the meeting, Biggs and White made the owners aware that a complaint had been raised.

Liverman and Hendrix informed the Bertie County representatives that the noise from the shredder does not usually begin until 10-10:30 a.m. and that exploding sounds are seldom, but do occur.

They owners also said that 6-10 a.m. is used for daily maintenance and repairs to equipment. On occasion, there is no maintenance needed in the early morning and the operations will begin earlier.

The report from White and Biggs added, “Noise level measurements have been taken by the owners on site from the shredder; decibel levels measured the same as a semi-truck on the highway.”

On the morning Biggs and White went to the facility, they heard no noise louder than the highway traffic.

Monday, Baker appeared before the board with a list of the noise level for 28 days. Of those, he recorded 13 days as having “outrageous noise” and 15 days in which the noise was either even with traffic, slightly less or slightly more.

Baker said he has spoken with Commissioner J. Wallace Perry and Commissioner Norman M. Cherry Sr. about the problem and that Perry had made a visit to his home. On the day of Perry’s visit, the noise was limited, Baker said.

Baker said there were 19 homes in the immediate vicinity of the recycling facility and asked for the commissioners to help with the noise problem.

“Our community would appreciate you as commissioners addressing the noise problems and providing a noise pollution ordinance,” Baker said.

Commission Chairman L.C. Hoggard III thanked Baker for his comments and promised the board would do the best it could to help him.

“We’ll do whatever we can to rectify it,” Hoggard said. “We’re sorry you have to live with the situation.”

Hoggard asked White if there was additional information she could provide. (Biggs was not at the meeting due to a family emergency.)

White said she and Biggs went up and down N.C. 11 and parked at different spots, but heard no noise that was above traffic level.

Baker asked when she went and his report recorded that day as being a quiet one for the facility.

Commissioner Perry said he did go to Baker’s house, but heard nothing on the day he was there.

Commissioner Rick Harrell suggested that in addition to checking into the sound more by going near the facility a few more times, that White should get prices for having a noise-measuring company monitor the noise from the facility.

The board agreed by consent to have White and Biggs revisit Liverman’s and check the noise on multiple days in addition to getting prices for a company to monitor the noise through equipment readings.