On Monday evening, several residents from Wilson Road came before city council to voice their side of an issue that ultimately boils down to the close proximity between the residential and industrial zones in that area of the city.
The residents of Wilson Road claim that their quality of life is being impacted by sawdust blowing across the road and onto their properties from Woodbed Corp., which is owned by Bob DeLullo and located on DeLaum Road. DeLullo, in turn, is trying to operate a business that has grown substantially over the past five or six years and currently employes around 30 area residents and brings significant revenue into the community.
Olin Tucker, a resident of Wilson Road, submitted a letter to city council during their meeting that detailed what he and the other residents consider to be major concerns with Woodbed's operation. The residents all live in close proximity to one another and all are almost directly across the road from Woodbed's facility.
In his letter Tucker states that "the sawdust from the pole wood is present on the inside and the outside of our homes, outdoor furniture, kids' outdoor toys and vehicles. There are no barriers. I can't even enjoy a cup of coffee on my back porch without having to scrub my furniture first and covering my coffee cup the whole time I am trying to take a drink." He and other residents from along Wilson Road also expressed their concern about the potential for sawdust to build up on their roofs and present a fire hazard.
During a tour of his facility on Thursday afternoon, DeLullo explained that he purposely placed the Woodbed operation in a "hole" that put it below ground level in an effort to reduce the contamination and noise generated by the business.
He also indicated that the issue of blowing debris is only a potential problem if the wind is blowing in the direction of those homes. If the wind is blowing in a different direction, or not blowing at all, he noted that it has not presented a problem for the homes along Wilson Road. DeLullo also had a flagpole installed at the facility to make it easier to monitor the wind direction. Additionally, he noted that he is exploring the option of having fencing placed along the embankment near Wilson Road in an effort to stop the debris at ground level from crossing the roadway.
Tucker remarked that he spoke to DeLullo about the problem in the spring of 2010 with no results.
"He said that he would try to chip the wood when the wind wasn't blowing or maybe aim the chute down a little further," Tucker said.
DeLullo indicated that he has copies of correspondence from Tucker and other residents of Wilson Road, not only detailing complaints but also thanking him [DeLullo] for making the effort to resolve issues that have arisen in the past.
Willie Hanes, another resident of Wilson Road, stated that he believes DeLullo's organization is in operation during third shift, while the residents of Wilson Road are trying to sleep.
For more information on this story, see the Jan. 7th edition of The Daily Press.