Letter: Sleepless in Candler, thanks to industrial noise

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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.

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5 thoughts on “Letter: Sleepless in Candler, thanks to industrial noise

  1. JoeJ

    It wasn’t that long ago that we were desperate to bring in manufacturers like Jacob Holm to create new jobs. Now they’re “too noisy”.

    • Linda Shuler

      What about all the traffic ..You moved into a area that needed to grow in the industrial aspect to bring more jobs..Now all you can complain about is the noise..Sound Barrier fences would help…What r we goin to do about the traffic???If a disasterous situation occurs..God forbid..we are sittin ducks ,No Way Out.If you dont like our area, We suggest you find another Biltmore Park that will come take over the names of our Lake,first the steple was moved to other bldg.Now theres no steple or Cross Our Church n the color is drk n shld b bright in over crowd roads,schools and raising taxes and electric rates so order to push the lil men n families out.Apartments that knowone can afford .Five more years n we will see all of the ones goin up filled with drugs n crime like Deaverview n others..Come on Commissioners what were you all thinkin.¿¿¿Robert Pressley I would step dwn n remove my name from this list..

    • El Rams

      Jacob Holm’s type of jobs are not the kind we want. I’ve had one of those jobs. They commit wrongs against their employees which I have tried to list here. The residents were there before Jacob Holm and the residents are taxpayers funding the companies “incentive” payments. It is not the residents responsibility to move away to accommodate Jacob Holm. With our talent pool we don’t have to put up with mistreatment to get jobs.

      • India Dombach

        It’s June now and the noise is worse than ever. My little house has no AC so I have to open my windows in the evenings to cool off. I wonder how much longer it will take them to fix this problem.

  2. clayton moore

    It is Deja Vu all over again. In 1929 it was the rayon fiber factory of ENKA that came to town with 5000 jobs. For the readers that do not remember reading about the Great Depression when no one had any money because Wall Street crash took it all (then and now) ENKA came to town and saved many families from total ruin. Noisy? Probably. Smoke from the smoke stacks? Yep.
    They would say that is the smell of money. Canton anyone?
    Want a really good story on environmental disasters? Read about the chicken houses in Surry County NC…25,000,000 chickens. The residents have no recourse since the chicken houses are farming operations…no mitigation…no lawsuits possible. Story can be found at journalnow.com website.

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