The county attracts industries with tax deductions and they, Jacob Holm [Industries (America)], repay us with noise that goes on 24/7. The high-whine, jet-aircraft-sounding exhaust emitted by Jacob Holm Industries, 1265 Sand Hill Road in Candler, goes on and on all hours of the day and night.
They claim that they have spent $100,000 to correct (moving it away from Biltmore Lake’s high-priced homes) the problem [See “Answer Man’s” Dec. 11 column in the Asheville Citizen-Times, avl.mx/4k1]. Well, it has not worked. Those of us who live in less affluent areas are the beneficiaries of their noise largesse. It keeps us awake at night.
Our county commissioner, Joe Belcher, claims to have heard zero complaints on Jacob Holms’ noise pollution, but friends from Enka Village have complained repeatedly. The “new line” noise, run at night, is exhausted away from them but is still audible and aimed across the county soccer fields, U.S. 19/23 and into our sleeping ears. It is too much: five years of this for nonwoven fabric for baby wipes.
Sincerely and sleeplessly in Itchy Gulch, N.C.
— G.P. Cheney
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Jacob Holm Industries and received the following response: “Jacob Holm has engaged the services of a local sound engineer to specifically determine which of the five exhaust vents are exceeding tolerable noise levels. Field tests were completed a few weeks ago. This is a complex engineering matter, as it involves not only sound level but frequency of that sound. We expect that report to be completed within the next two weeks. The equipment delivery is subject to manufacturing lead times at the time of order, with installation shortly after receipt.
“We had tremendous success with this firm and their recommendations when we addressed a similar issue with our new line in 2015, and also in the summer of 2017 when we had a failed piece of equipment. The neighbors impacted with these two occurrences were very satisfied with our efforts, and we hope those experiencing aggravation now will also be satisfied. We just ask that everyone be patient with us as we implement the necessary corrective action.”
Xpress contacted Commissioner Joe Belcher, who says he had received numerous complaints on the earlier noise problem and had worked with the company to remedy it. He says he hadn’t heard complaints on the new noise problem when he spoke to the Citizen-Times in early December, but he subsequently received emailed complaints about it. According to Belcher, the county then contacted Jacob Holm and learned that it was working with engineers to remedy the new noise problem. “I’m grateful as a commissioner for any input I receive from the community,” Belcher says.