Blowing sand annoys South Weber residents

Oct 3 2011 - 6:26am

SOUTH WEBER -- Residents here are furious about blowing sand accumulating in their yards and potentially causing health problems, and they blame the gravel pits owned by the Staker Parson Company.

At a recent city council meeting, Gayla Harris, a resident for 40 years who currently lives on 1900 South, said the sand is ruining her carpet and truck and causing her to develop asthma.

Harris said her sister told her to "get out of South Weber before the pit kills you."

Dak Maxfield, a representative from Staker Parson Company, addressed the complaints from residents about dust caused by high winds.

He said Staker Parson has a water system to help prevent blowing sand in South Weber, but the system went down when the regular employee handling the sprinkler system was out of town.

Apparently, on Sept. 8, there was no water at all, and on Sept. 9, the water was turned back on, Maxfield said.

Maxfield said he felt that, other than those days, everything was working just fine.

Maxfield did apologize for the lack of water.

Additionally, he said six fences had been added in August to cover both the south and west walls to stop the sand from blowing into yards and houses.

Maxfield had met with South Weber City Manager Rodger Worthen to discuss the wind breaks, stressing that South Weber is the only location in Utah that is receiving such a large number of dust precautions.

Following Maxfield's report, a letter was read from Councilman Farrell Poll, who was absent from the meeting.

Poll wrote that he was extremely frustrated with the blowing sand situation and that the dust in the homes and yards had been getting worse. He was overwhelmed because of the sand and grit due to Staker Parson and expects more to be done by the city.

Poll stated that hundreds of community complaints have gone unnoticed for years. He said Staker Parson continues to bring "more junk into the pit" and, because of the expansion, cannot control the pollution.

He believes the company should cease operations until the problem is solved.

Councilman Michael Poff said the problem keeps expanding and added that he was at the point of instructing his staff to get legal options along the lines of fines, pulling Staker Parson's license "or whatever we need to do."

Mayor Jeff Monroe wanted "beneficial documentation put in a hard copy" as to how Staker Parson can help fix the problem and then sit down to discuss the issue.

After more citizens' comments, Maxfield said he did not know "where to begin."

He suggested to the audience call the Division of Air Quality and have those officials check the pollutants.

He said he was "committed to get to the bottom of it" and he did not want the community "to live in conditions that have been described."

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