The neighbors lose with city approval of debris transfer station

June 25, 2014 

Discount Rock and Sand was given city approval to expand its operation on Aviation Boulevard.

RYAN MCCARTHY

Aren't we the lucky ones.

The city of Marathon opted to change city code to allow a construction-debris transfer station on Aviation Boulevard and others like it. I can hear local contractors squeal with joy. They no longer have to drive all the way to Layton to dump their trash. They'll soon be able to do it right in my back yard.

Discount Rock and Sand owner Eddie Lopez is quoted by Ryan McCarthy in the June 18 Keynoter: "What I'm asking is you see how I [improved] the landscaping." Anything he did would have been an improvement over the conditions we've endured over the years.

There's now a pretty pink 12-foot wall surrounding his property, still not tall enough to hide the 30-foot pile of debris on the lot. And maybe too tall. The wall is so poorly constructed that the northwest corner is already showing signs of stress less than six months after it was erected.

I shared photos of this at the April 22 City Council meeting. Those on the dais did not appear the least concerned. We now know why. Their decision had already been made. It was mere formality that they had to endure citizen comments.

Neighbors were concerned about noise, air quality, rodents and traffic patterns related to the present operation. Those concerns were met with a condescending smirk by Mr. Lopez.

The noise we all heard early morning and late night didn't exist, we were told. Tell that to my poor dog who hides under the bed afraid of thunder.

It's only a coincidence that our seasonal allergies have become year-round respiratory issues since he began moving rock around. That soot covering our homes isn't really there. Or it's from the sewers that were installed three years ago.

Our next-door neighbor found a family of rats nesting under their home two weeks ago. Things will not improve once the transfer station is operational.

We're to believe various departmental oversights will keep things in check. The reality is that there just aren't enough available resources to do this properly.

The true reflection of a man's character is displayed when nobody is watching. We've all seen those results. And now we're supposed to be grateful that a facility that should have been condemned is showing signs of improvement.

Lopez went on to tell McCarthy that he "I spent a lot of money." Therein lies the bottom line. Money. Lopez is concerned with green, but not so much with Marathon's ecology.

The City Council had an opportunity to do the right thing by changing code in a way that would prevent the conditions we're forced to live with. And they blew it. Any council members want to swap homes? You should have to live with the result of your actions.

Marathon

Valeri Kolessar

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