West Columbia Suspends Noise Ordinance for School Construction

West Columbia suspends noise ordinance so they can finish school construction

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Residents in one Midlands neighborhood will only have one day of relief from the construction noise sitting in their backyards.

The contractor working on the new elementary school on cougar drive says they need to work Saturdays in order to finish the project on time.

West Columbia resident David Blackwell says the noise already starts bright and early during the week.

"They come up probably 6:30, quarter to 7," said Blackwell.

Its not early enough for the contractors of the elementary school which will soon sit behind the homes on Hummingbird drive.

Don Icehower with Lexington 2 says, "with the ordinance in place, I don't think that we will be able to open that school on time."

Icenhower and contractor John Miller asked West Columbia City Council to suspend the noise ordinance, allowing them to work weekends and before 7a.m.

"We need some variance for about 8 days in the mornings due to the extreme temperatures we have in this area," says Icehower.

Without any of the variances they wouldn't finish the school until mid September of the 2018 school year. But even with the urgency residents weren't pleased.

Pam Wrenn says, "If you extend the construction to Saturdays and Sundays you will affect the lifestyle and quality of life for many of the residents."

Councilman Tem Miles says granting their request would finish the project quicker.

"Your only other alternative would be to sit there with a school vacant for a year and either wait until Christmas time or the next summer to make the move and that doesn't serve anybody well," says Miles.

In the end, they compromised, and Miles filed a motion allowing them to work every Saturday until completion and to select eight days between now and October where they will be allowed to work a 24 hour period.

The vote was passed six to two.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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