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Joseph Cecil said he is thankful for the jobs Indian packaging manufacturer Flex Films has brought to Elizabethtown, but he could do without the noise.
By all accounts, several homeowners who live near the plant on North Black Branch Road agree with Cecil’s assessment.
Cecil, a Cecilia area resident, collected about 107 signatures protesting the noise emanating from the facility as of Monday evening, which he presented to Elizabethtown City Council during its work session.
“That’s one day,” he said of the signatures.
Cecil said he is working with a fellow homeowner to collect more signatures and plans to record the noise for presentation to the council at a later date.
He hopes the city may assist in convincing Flex Films to install insulation on the west side of the facility to muffle the noise and provide some relief for nearby property owners.
Cecil said he has noticed workers are wearing ear plugs or ear muffs to protect their hearing outside the facility, and employees are forced to shout outside the west end to carry on a conversation whereas you can whisper on the other side where the plant’s offices are.
“You can’t even enjoy a barbecue (in your backyard),” Cecil said.
He has spoken to several company representatives, including the plant manager and president, but told the council he does not seem to be making headway. He has called on the company to halt any expansion plans until the insulation is installed, telling the council the addition of additional plants would greatly enhance the noise if buffers are not placed.
Officials said the planting of vegetation on a berm near the facility may serve as a buffer, but Cecil said some already have trees between their property and the plant and it has offered no relief.
The company has promised to bring around 250 jobs as part of its capital investment into Elizabethtown, which will be built over multiple phases. The first phase brought more than 100 jobs. The facility has been open less than a year.
Calls and emails placed to Flex Films by The News-Enterprise on Tuesday were not immediately returned.
Mayor Edna Berger said she has driven by Flex Films with her windows down and has toured the plant, telling Cecil she has no problem with the amount of noise emitted.
“It didn’t bother me,” Berger said. “It smelled like money to me.”
Cecil countered by saying Berger does not have to live near the noise or experience it for a sustained period of time.
Berger and the council said they would look into the situation.
Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.