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Firm says steps taken to address concerns

March 07, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Representatives from the Industrial Pallet Corp. in Greencastle said the company actively is working to mitigate the concerns of local residents and establish a peaceful relationship with its neighbors.

Plant manager Jeff Deike said the company was unaware it would be the target of criticism at Monday's Greencastle Borough Council meeting, but said it already has taken steps to address many of the issues raised by residents.

Deike said the company actively has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to limit the amount of dust escaping the plant.

"We already have a plan in motion to construct a metal building that will fully enclose the dust," Deike said.

Residents of the adjacent mobile home park signed a petition in February asking the company to do something about the dust problem.

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Chief Financial Officer and part-owner Jay Wiegand said the company currently is in full compliance with the DEP, but that it chose to construct the building in an effort to be a "good neighbor."

"We are planning to spend $40,000 to $50,000 on the enclosure," he said. "Our goal is to get along."

Deike said the company hopes to have the 1,170-square-foot building completed by June. Once completed, he said it should contain the dust.

"We can get every piece of our conveying material in there when it is finished," he said. "It will be big enough to drive the trucks into it to be filled."

In addition to the dust, residents voiced concern over the tall stacks of pallets and "toxic runoff" from chemicals.

Wiegand emphasized that the Industrial Pallet Corp. does not use chemicals to treat the pallets as suggested by residents.

"I can assure you we do not treat with chemicals and there is no toxic runoff," he said.

As for the stacks, Wiegand said the stacks are much more stable than they appear.

"We have never had one fall," he said. "A teenager could not push one over."

Both Wiegand and Deike said the Industrial Pallet Corp. has invited members of the Greencastle Borough Council to tour the plant and speak with company representatives about the claims made by residents.

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