Dear Editor:

This letter is being written on behalf of my neighbors in addition to myself. About a week ago we found out a gas compressor station is being installed right in the center of a circle of homes all within a few hundred yards and all in the city limits, none of whom were notified about it in advance, and very near my house. It’s our understanding the commercial building for the engine was erected in a residential zone without a permit. I read the City Council conversation in this week’s paper (the building itself was not mentioned) and am confused by the statement "it’s only one engine and it doesn’t require a permit." They can’t find any documentation anywhere addressing what number of engines requires a permit and what number doesn’t — I’m not in the city limits so that part is really none of my business, but the city residents affected would like to know the basis for the statement.

Surely to goodness with all the uninhabited acreage in Van Buren County they could have found a spot for a compressor station that wouldn’t be so near so many people living by choice out in the quiet and peaceful countryside? The gas company cleared out all the trees on that property to install the well a couple of years ago, what few were left after the tornado, so there’s no barrier of any kind to muffle the noise for at least a dozen nearby homes in this area plus the church and cemetery, probably more as sound carries for a long way in this valley. I’ve heard too many stories of the noise level that forces people to sell out and leave to not know it’s going to affect our property values in a very bad way — no real estate agent would be able to sell a residence next to a 24/7 rumbling diesel engine. I’ve spoken to two real estate agents — the first said it would degrade the property values to be close enough to hear it. The other won’t take a listing if a compressor station is in hearing distance. This is in direct conflict to the City Council Ordinance No. 2007-16 "The City Council desires to promote the economic growth anticipated with such industry but at the same time to protect and enhance the property values of all property within the city." Stress the words "protect and enhance." The ones nearest to the station are in the city. Numerous homes besides mine in this community but not in the city limits will be affected by the city’s actions, and there should be a moral obligation for actions by the city to not harm anyone at all.

These are all the same homes wiped out by the ‘08 tornado and rebuilt including the Pee Dee Baptist parsonage and the cemetery building as are others in the community — there’s probably not a one of us would have rebuilt if we had known we would have a compressor station ruining our property and lives in our future. Yes they can insulate it and reduce the noise, but they can’t eliminate it and nobody wants to live with a constant never-ending drone every time they go outside or try to sleep. I can’t believe this is being allowed to happen — everyone affected needs to work together and do what we can to stop it.

Alma Wallace


Dear Editor:

What is happening at the State Crime Laboratory?

An article in the Oct. 31 paper stated that Steve Nunley’s wallet contained three pieces of folded-up aluminum foil which were sent to the State Crime Laboratory on June 13, 2012, for analysis.

The results, which indicated the substance was methamphetamine, came back on Sept. 29, 2012.

The analysis took over 115 days to be processed.

Is this the best our hard-earned taxpayer dollars can expect? Does anyone care anymore?

Even around election time I did not hear any politician address this problem.

Nick Palangio