Neighbors Abuzz Over the Buzz
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
It's not the loud noise, but the constant hum that has some neighbors abuzz. From 7 A.M. till 7 P.M., the noise is usually constant from the Derby Gold shavings mill near Morriston in Levy County.
But Brian Tessmann moved here almost 10 years for the peace and quiet.
"I can still hear it at my place pretty good at times when the wind is right."
Tessmann says this is the machine that is the problem. But Derby Gold owners say they have spent more than 75-thousand dollars in insulation to keep it as quiet as possible.
An acoustics expert says the noise hovers around 40 decibels. That's just over the 35 decibel range that's considered ambient noise and well under the Levy County night-time rules of 50 decibels.
"I'm sorry that the droning is there," said Levy County Commissioner Nancy Bell at Tuesday's commission meeting. "I did not hear it. I've been out there on several occasions."
Commissioners granted Derby Gold permission to extend their hours and become a 24-hour operation. The extra hours will help them produce an extra 100-plus packets a day of shavings for animal bedding.
"The request is entirely driven by demand," says Derby Gold Spokesman Will Irby. "There is an increased demand for horse bedding."
Tessmann says the noise has gotten softer in the last couple months but it is still noticeable.
"We were hoping it would go a little better at least," says Tessmann. "Shut them off for the 24/7 and keep them 7 to 7."
"Any reasonable person standing at the property line is going to have to concede that there is hardly a sound to be heard," says Irby.
Levy County Commissioners told concerned neighbors that if problems arise, code enforcement would be happy to take another look--and listen.
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