Turkey Creek Residents Take Biomass Noise Concerns to Alachua City Commission
Published September 24th, 2013
ALACHUA COUNTY -- They say it's really loud and very smelly, not to mention it's keeping them up at night -- we're talking about Gainesville's new biomass power plant and the residents in the city of Alachua who are now asking their own commissioners to do something about the problem.
Dozens of residents from the Turkey Creek community showed up to Monday night's Alachua City Commission meeting and voiced their concerns with the plant during the meeting's public comment period.
While some complained of occasionally smelling a foul stench, others spoke about an ashy residue that they've sometimes found on their cars.
But the predominant concern seemed to be a loud noise, similar to that of a jet engine, that several residents say has kept them from sleeping through the night.
After briefly discussing the issue, which was not on the agenda, commissioners unanimously approved a motion to send a letter to local, county and state leaders, making sure they are aware of the problem and seeking ways to remedy it.
Commissioners described it as a "first step" towards alleviating the concerns of Turkey Creek residents, and at least one commissioner entertained the idea of holding a public workshop about the plant's noise at some point in the future.
For their part, officials at the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, or GREC, say they have hired their own company to conduct noise measurements both in and around Turkey Creek.
However, most Turkey Creek residents say they'd prefer to see an agency independent of GREC conducting those noise tests.
Just last week, residents from the same community appeared before the Gainesville City Commission, seeking some sort of remedy for the noise. But based on comments made Monday night, most residents feel their concerns were not properly addressed.
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