Problems on Alaway Ave.

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2002

Concerning the noise issue on Alaway Avenue, After Mr. and Mrs. Duran presented their arguments to the Planning Commission, I asked Mr. Dybdahl if the commission would allow further public testimony. Mr. Dybdahl stated the commission would accept more public testimony at the next meeting, to which Duran's attorney loudly protested "this isn't part of the deal we agreed upon." I thought about this a bit, and concluded there had obviously been some behind-the-scenes deal making going on prior to the Planning Commission meeting. This might explain why Duran postponed the hearing several times.

Mr. Duran argued that he had an agreement with the city to process soil two weeks out of the year. I can tell you that if such an agreement ever existed he never intended to honor it, as he started processing there in May of this year and continued operations on the site late into the fall of this year, even though the city in July of this year ordered him to cease operations. At the meeting it was also revealed that a condition of his storage (not processing) permit was that he not allow the area to become a "junkyard." Anybody that uses Alaway Avenue can attest that "junkyard" is a generous description of Duran's storage site.

Another interesting development: The morning after the Planning Commission meeting I met with an Empire photographer at Duran's Alaway Avenue storage site. While there I noticed what appeared to be diesel fuel running from the site into the drainage ditch. I pointed this out to the photographer, who noted that though it was raining and blowing pretty hard that morning, the smell of diesel was very strong. There is one newer 1,000-gallon and several old rusty 500-gallon fuel tanks on the site, none in any sort of containment field. The fuel appeared to be coming from these. The Department of Environmental Consternation and the U.S. Coast Guard were on the site later that morning attempting to determine the cause of the spill. They concluded the fuel in the ground water was a result of "bad fueling practices," was spilled during refueling operations and had soaked into the soil, and figured that the fuel must be leaching out of the ground because of the heavy rains. Duran showed up a few hours later, took some pictures, and left. There has been no further activity there to remove or clean the contaminated soils.

Not only do we have to deal with the issue of noise, now we also have contaminated soil in our ground water to worry about.

Chris Erickson


Eagles Edge Subdivision

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