Noise, Dust and Traffic Angers Neighbors

Some Neighbors Say Truck Traffic, Noise and Dust Are Intolerable

Neighbors Upset Over Noise

May 3, 2012

        HORSEHEADS (WENY) --  Jack Nickerson has lived at his Old Ithaca home for more than 50 years. He understands change comes with time.

        But about four years ago, Nickerson said the dust coming from the Center at Horsehead's industrial site behind his house got intolerable.  Despite the installation of a fence designed to hold debris in, dust still spreads everywhere.

        Valorie Rohver lives on Ridge Road just about a quarter mile away, and has a different complaint, but from the same site.  She says the late night banging, clanking and honking coming from the Center at Horseheads is extremely disruptive.  "It's like somebody is beating on a dumpster with a hammer and you have to go to sleep," says Rohver. "But you can't because it won't let you."

        Horseheads Village manager Walter Herbst says he's heard many of these complaints before and is working to address them.  "Over the course of the last year and a half or so, we have dealt with the owners of the Holding Point, we've dealt with the individual companies as well as the DEC, the county, the town," says Herbst.  "And everybody's pitched in to do what we're able to do.

        In January, Center engineers conducted a noise study, but village officials and residents agreed the details were vague and unclear.  So, the village got a decibel meter, to get its own sound readings during the afternoon and at night to see if companies are breaking the noise ordinance.  Another common question is about the connector road project, which has been in the works for years.  Herbst says the  project to divert trucks off Old Ithaca Road remains a serious priority, but there's no completion date in sight.

       "There's a lot of interest and thrust towards pushing for it. But everybody is competing for money and that's what it comes down to. So to predict when that could be done is hard to do," says Herbst.