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 Residents Complain of Dust


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By Bajeerah Lowe , Staff Writer 

November 23, 2002 

SADSBURY -- As a cement truck rolled down Spruce Street on a recent sunny morning, clouds of dust followed it. Residents of this small township street say this sight is common place and they’re tired of it.

"I have dust on my toothbrush, dust on my washcloth and in my cabinets," said Bill Washington of Spruce Street. "I can’t sit on my porch and enjoy the outside."

Washington and his neighbor Jeff Tobelmann attribute the sand-like dust that lines the edge of the street to the Delaware Valley Concrete facility at the end of their street.

"We’re living in a danger zone," said Washington.

"It’s not good to be breathing," added Tobelmann.

Tobelmann moved into his home in 1995. Describing the home he shares with his family as a fixer-upper, Tobelmann said he has stopped all work on his house as he feels its fruitless. "It’s not worth it," he said.

Running his finger along his windowsill, Tobelmann showed the dust he said covers his home, inside and out. While the recent rain has helped, the summer months were almost unbearable, said Washington.

"I had to wear a handkerchief over my mouth like the Lone Ranger," he said. And his neighbor, he added, was having such breathing problems "I could hear them wheezing through the wall."

In a telephone interview this week, Delaware Valley Concrete’s president Mario Diliberto said he was unaware of any complaints.

"I spoke with my plant manager at that site and he said he has received no calls. But I informed him if he does get phone calls, he is to personally handle them," Diliberto said.

He said he will work to address the problems immediately.

"We will make every attempt to satisfy their request," Diliberto said. "We want to be a good neighbor."

Tobelmann and Washington say they’ve heard similar promises before.

"We’ve been hollering about this same thing for five years," said Washington.

Ralph Garris Jr., Sadsbury supervisors’ chairman, said the township has been working with the concrete company for the past two years to try to reach a middle ground.

"We are trying to work with them ..but still there is a very bad dust problem," he said.

In an effort to help the situation, Spruce Street was rebuilt and paved and Delaware Valley Concrete purchased a street sweeper.

Tobelmann said that with the exception of Thursday morning, the day after Diliberto promised to address the issues, it had been weeks since he last saw the street sweeper cleaning the road.

"Unfortunately I think they mean well, but we don’t have people to police the street to make sure they are sweeping. It’s an on-again, off-again thing," Garris said.

County Commissioner Andrew Dinniman visited Spruce Street two years ago after his office received complaints.

"I went out because I was concerned," said Dinniman. "It is incumbent that DVC be a good neighbor. A good neighbor makes sure that dust and residue don’t disturb this long-standing neighborhood."

Dinniman said he would like to see the company and the neighbors sit down and discuss the issues.

"Any company has the responsibility to be a good neighbor, especially when they are so close," Dinniman said.

While Garris agreed that an open discussion could be beneficial, in the end, he said there is no legal recourse as the zoning permits the company to be there.  

İDaily Local News 2003


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