By Bajeerah Lowe , Staff Writer
-- 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 theyre tired of it.
dust on my toothbrush, dust on my washcloth and in my cabinets," said Bill
Washington of Spruce Street. "I cant 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.
"Were living in a danger zone," said Washington.
"Its 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. "Its 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 Concretes 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 theyve heard similar promises before.
"Weve 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
"We are trying to work with them ..but still there is a very bad dust problem,"
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 dont have people to police the
street to make sure they are sweeping. Its an on-again, off-again thing,"
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 dont
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.