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Blasting Near Amazon Site Returns as Issue at Boone Fiscal Court

 

The issue of blasting near the construction site of the forthcoming Amazon Prime Air site near CVG Airport returned to the Boone County Fiscal Court on Tuesday.

Judge/Executive Gary Moore told the gathered crowd that following the January 28 meeting where this issue was first explored, he met with representatives form the airport, Amazon, and the contractors. 

"We want to make sure they understand the impact the construction is having in the community," Moore said. "They did talk to us a bit about the blasting data. One of the main things they talked about was the notifications.  Something we learned in that meeting yesterday was that while on a non-coal blasting permit there is not a state requirement to give notification- it's a best practice to do that.  And we learned in the meeting yesterday that they did send out notices to every home and business within 1,500 feet of the property line of the project. Not where they are blasting, but 1,500 feet from the property line. They are telling us that they sent out notices to 118 properties."

Moore reiterated his previous point that the county does not issue or rescind blasting permits as it is a state issue.

LImaburg Road resident Laurie Mayleben said that she submitted an open records request related to the blasting while resident Tammy McDaniel explained the magnitude of the blasting noise as sounding like a plane had crashed.

"The house shakes from the bottom up," she said. "You can feel it coming across the ground."

She and her husband built their house on Lakeland Park 30 years ago and they took extra precautions and built above code, so she said they don't have as much visible damage right now. 

What she is worried about most is the gas lines and other buried utilities.

"I'm not here to beat up Boone County," she said. "We want protection, and we are asking that of this committee because we have nowhere else to go. We have trusted you for 30 years and now I want to trust you as our house truly needs."

Andrew Vance, who lives on Burlington Pike, has an inground pool, and worries about his basement walls.

"I have lived here for 20 years and I sure didn't expect this to happen," he told the court. "I hope something can be done!"

Commissioner Cathy Flaig asked if anyone had asked their homeowners insurance about the situation.

Laurie Mayleben said that she did, and that a forensic engineer was sent out.

Tammy McDaniel said that she was told it wasn't necessarily covered, because it wasn't a natural disaster.

Vance commented that he went up to the foreman on the other property by apartments where they had to dig down 12 to 15 feet and saw that he was using a bulldozer to dig down into the rock. He asked the foreman why they were using a bulldozer to dig a foundation into the rock instead of blasting. The foreman said blasting was a cheaper alternative, and that's why the other company was using it.

"There's your fix," Vance said."That was another contractor who said that. There is another option that they could use."

Judge Moore said that if residents can think of anything else that county officials could do, to let them know.

"We work hard here to make Boone County a special place," Moore said. "This is not up to standards of what happens in Boone County. We want to do the best we can do." 

Moore also said it looks like the company will be blasting through October of this year.  

Because of the ongoing blasting, he recommended that residents who are thinking they might have problems to get a home inspection. Commissioner Jesse Brewer said that a structural home inspection should cost between $300 and $500.

Moore said that the building under construction is about a mile long, so the blasting area will change also. He said as the building continues towards Aero Parkway, the homes affected by the blasting might change also.

Moore also mentioned that the airport is exempt from the rules of planning and zoning, and the airport is the grantor of the lease to Amazon.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor