Noise complaints from Kroger distribution center studied

Monroe residents have complained about center; study shows acceptable levels of noise.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MONROE — A noise study conducted last month near the Kroger distribution center showed results a lot different than concerns from residents.

Dave Grant, one of the four Monroe residents who spoke during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, said the noise coming from the center has gotten “increasingly worse,” potentially lowered property values and driven at least one family out of the city.

On Feb. 6-7, ASC Group conducted a noise study at five locations near the Kroger facility on Hamilton-Lebanon Road that showed acceptable noise levels.

According to the report dated March 1, ASC personnel received comments from several residents indicating that noise levels were much worse at times than they were during the measurements, and they were most often loudest at night.

One resident indicated that on some nights the noise levels emanating from the Kroger distribution facility interfered with watching television in a room on the opposite side of the house from the facility and another described noise levels loud enough to wake him at night and vibrations at night that rattled windows and caused pictures on the walls to shift.

Another resident, Jason Miller, who lives on Stoner Ridge Lane, said he can typically hear the conveyors running, loud car stereos from the employee parking lot, trucks backing up, and what sounds like a dumpster being dropped. Between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., Miler said he hears “disturbing noises” that wake him up and he’s “terrified” by the sounds. Miller said that on some Sunday mornings, he can clearly hear the sound of trucks backing up at the facility.

“It’s really problematic,” he told council. “Please help us.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A Monroe ordinance regulates noise levels from motor vehicles at any time of day and from fixed sound sources located in residential and commercial districts between the hours of 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

In addition to regulating noise from specific equipment and activities (such as sound-amplifying devices, blowers and fans, pile drivers, pneumatic hammers, and others), the ordinance prohibits operation of “any other motorized or non-motorized device which causes noise which is plainly audible at a distance of 75 feet from the building, structure or open-air site in which the source of the noise is located. The ordinance does not specify any numerical limits or durations for noise levels.

This has been an on-going issue in the city for more than a year. After complaints and letters addressing their concerns from residents, city leaders have met with Kroger officials to try to reduce the amount of noise coming from the facility.

City Manager Larry Lester said the city plans to meet with Kroger officials again after receiving the results from the noise study.

Grant said he hopes Kroger works with the city to create a resolution. He expects Kroger to be “a good partner.”

If any council member or city employee lived near the distribution center, Grant wondered whether action would be taken quicker.

“It’s getting frustrating,” he said.

Mayor Keith Funk said the noise issue “needs addressed.”

Vice Mayor Christina McElfresh added: “We know it’s happening. There is a solution here.”

Then she told the residents who spoke during the meeting, “We hear you.”

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