Business given time to alleviate dust problem

MINGO JUNCTION – Village Council will give a business at the center of complaints on south Commercial Avenue time to make improvements to limit the amount of dust coming from the property.

Residents have been complaining for more than a year about the FeX processing plant. Several residents came to the last council meeting on April 9, which prompted council to ask for a meeting with FeX representatives.

Doug Schaefer, FeX operations director, said there is dust and dirt being dragged out onto Commercial Avenue by trucks leaving the plant. But he said there are other businesses, including a company hauling sand from the railroad tracks, that are using Commercial Avenue. The sand is used in the fracking process of oil and gas wells.

Schaefer said the company is seeking permission from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to install a tire-wash system so truck tires are clean when leaving the facility. He said the road entering the plant also will be paved, reducing the amount of dust coming from the gravel and dirt road.

Residents have complained the dust is so bad that they have to change furnace filters on a monthly basis. Residents also have complained about trucks lining up in the morning on Commercial Avenue blocking driveways.

Resident Francis DiLoreto said people living near the plant can’t sit on the porch or walk on the sidewalks because of the accumulation of dirt.

“They have ruined a good residential area,” DiLoreto said.

“We want to be a good community citizen. It is important to me to find a way to coexist with the community,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer said the company wants to keep jobs in the community. There are about 10 employees at FeX.

Councilmen James Morrocco and John Bracone both said they talked to Schaefer in the past about the complaints, and both were told by Schaefer that the company would be paving the access road and doing other things to control the dust.

“Nothing has been done. You had all last year to blacktop,” Bracone said.

Interim village Administrator Howard Armstrong said it is in the best interest of the company to work with the residents and council to find a solution to the complaints. He stressed there has to be a time line for the work to be completed.

Council also discussed putting up signs prohibiting through truck traffic on that section of Commercial Avenue.

Councilman John Fabian said the village has to be careful in how it handles business complaints.

“We don’t want to send the wrong message to any other business that wants to come into the community,” Fabian said.