Humming Update

Sounds like (get it?) the sound is coming from Yancey Mill. Maybe?

via Nextdoor (having to pull information from private sites where logins are required sucks; this stuff should be open to all). Neither Nextdoor nor Facebook are the Internet.

Update: Crozet Gazette has the story.

White Hall Supervisor Ann Mallek confirmed Friday, Oct. 19, that the noise plaguing residents for weeks has been tracked to Yancey Lumber Corporation.

(oldest Nextdoor post first)

All, Another frustrating night is wearing on everyone’s nerves. Zoning department code compliance officer Lisa Green is chasing the project manager for the transmission line project for Dominion. I have reached out up the Dominion power chain to make sure that happens today. Police department officers are coordinating with Lisa. One goal is to stabilize the transmission wires with tension overnight when they are not pulling wire to make sure harmonics are not being generated from the miles of “guitar strings” hanging in the wind. The area where they are working is directly south of the Yancey Lumber yard, which would make sense for the direction of the sound as well as other residents further south and west who are also hearing it. I have no magic bullet but want you to know some progress may be on the horizon. Please share this information. Ann Mallek

A follow up on the info from Ann Malek: The idea that the sound is coming from the Dominion project was suggested by a vdot engineer. Ann referred it to dominion to ask. “They said it is possible and that the current section, just south of Yancey and Burch’s creek would take about a month. This is still conjecture but the best idea we have,” Ann Mallek.

Albemarle County’s Zoning Code Compliance team has been tracking reports of the hum in Crozet for the past few weeks. Last night, the team received another report of the hum. Around 9 pm, a team arrived in Crozet and drove between locations reporting the hum. Around 11 pm, the team detected a hum and followed it to the source property. A measurement taken at the property line recorded 64 dba, in violation of the noise ordinance maximum noise level of 55 dba. Staff are now working in cooperation with the property owner to bring the noise level back into compliance.

I imagine that police are tired of hearing about it by now but…they are the ones responsible. Here is the code: Sec. 7-101 Administration and enforcement. The chief of police is hereby designated the agent of the board of supervisors in the administration and enforcement of this article. The chief of police may be assisted in the enforcement of this article by employees of the department of community development, the department of general services, and other officers and employees of the county.

Here’s where they say it’s the mill

Just in from Ann Mallek from the lawyer representing the mill: Ann – Good afternoon – I’m pinch hitting for Valerie today on this matter (she’s been at a county police foundation event), and I want to share with you and Lisa Green the latest information from R.A. Yancey Lumber Corporation. First, I was just advised that the Company has located a capable manufacturer to have a muffler for the exhaust stack custom built with the goal of bringing down the noise level below 50 decibels at the property line when the boiler and fans are operating at full throttle. An expedite fee of over 63% of the cost is being paid to get the equipment made and shipped in 2 weeks rather than 4 weeks. In the meantime, the Company is rearranging its production schedule in order to power back every evening. In fact, it powered back significantly last evening and it appears to have reduced measured noise at the property line by 4 decibels. As a result, company executives were surprised when I shared your email from Ms. Mezey that describes the sound as “unbearable.” In light of Ms. Mezey’s experience, I am wondering if she might allow Company personnel to measure the sound from her location to better understand the situation. That said, measurements from Old Trail suggest that sound travelled better last night than the night before, so Ms. Mezey could have experienced the sound as being louder. Tonight, the Company is planning to power back a bit more to try to get to 55 decibels or less at the property line. Please also understand that shutting down the boiler shuts down the Company’s ability to produce higher grade lumber products used in home and apartment construction. I am advised that such lumber spends on average +/- 48 hours in one of the kilns and will warp if the drying process is interrupted by shutting down and then restarting the boiler (which takes some time itself). As a result, the Company is doing everything it can to alter how the drying system operates without shutting down the boiler completely until the muffler arrives and can be installed. Please also know that the boiler will automatically shut off when power to its fans is too low. In short, the boiler has to be operated within certain multi variable tolerance levels. I hope that it is apparent that the Company is trying to be as cooperative and responsive as practical in a very short time window. Sound measurements will continue to be made through-out the weekend and we will plan to report again on Monday.


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