Man sounds noise complaint

JOHNSTOWN – A frustrated city resident addressed the Common Council Monday night about alleged noise pollution from a steel fabrication plant in his neighborhood.

But city officials say the company is operating legally.

Public speaker Frank Rizzio, of 3 Reservoir St., said the noise is great coming from a Pleasant Avenue factory both he and city officials couldn’t name.

“The noise that comes off Pleasant Avenue at three in the morning is ridiculous,” he said. “I’m at my wit’s end.”

Rizzio said he’s talked to Councilman-at-Large Christopher Swatt and other city officials about the issue. He said he even got 1st Ward Councilwoman Cindy Lakata out of bed in the middle of the night to alert her to the issue.

“They think they have the right to make all noises at all times,” the speaker said of the company.

He said there’s a period in which the company utilizes diesel engines and various buzzers, and other equipment makes noise from 3 to 6 a.m.

Rizzio said the response from city police was that the company has a “perfect right” to make noise during fabrication work. He said one officer also told him to call police when there is an issue, but was again told: “They can do this. They’re a business.”

Police Chief Mark Gifford said the factory in question is a steel fabrication shop. He also couldn’t provide a name. He said the company is operating legally in an industrial zone in the city, welding and grinding metal.

“They are making noise, as they are doing their job,” Gifford said. “That’s pretty much where it ends.”

But Rizzio claimed he’s also seen the company allegedly “pushing debris” toward the Cayadutta Creek. He said that when he contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation about what he saw, DEC told him it was “too busy” to investigate.

Gifford said any alleged DEC violation complaint by the company was not brought previously to his attention.

“Right now, I have no answers with respect to that,” the police chief said.

Swatt suggested city officials speak to the business owner.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.