Seeking relief from a noise nuisance at his home, Roy Tippett, of Cumberland, asked members of the Harlan Fiscal Court for their help at a recent meeting.
Magistrate David Kennedy spoke on Tippett’s behalf saying Tippett actually lives in the county with his property adjoining the city limits of Cumberland. He said the Tippett home is near the Food City grocery, which is located within the city limits.
“I don’t know how this happened but there is a pocket of Harlan County located in the city of Cumberland,” said Kennedy. “Mr. Tippett’s problem is Food City has installed these massive heating, cooling and refrigeration systems on the roof of their building. All of this noise is coming directly at his house. It’s 24 hours a day seven days a week — it doesn’t let up. It’s like putting your head in a blender. He came to me and talked to me about it and I referred him to the Cumberland City Council because Food City is in the city limits and they do have a public nuisance ordinance, which I feel should address this. He can’t get any relief from the city, so, he’s here today asking whether or not we have jurisdiction to try to step in and help him?”
In Cumberland City Ordinance 306b (4) it says, “it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant or person having control or management of any land within the city to permit a public nuisance to develop thereon.”
After living 37 years at his present address, Tippett said the nuisance began in February 2012. He added Food City has been at its present location about 25 years.
“I have talked with Food City personnel for the past six months and I just can’t deal with this noise anymore,” said Tippett. “I can’t sit on my front porch and read the newspaper, chit chat with my wife or drink a cup of coffee on my front porch because of the noise. It even comes inside my house. You just can’t get away from the noise. I have to run a TV real loud all the time to try and block out the noise.”
Tippett said he had approached the city council about four times and finally the mayor wrote a letter to Food City, which they ignored.
“I’ve had Food City personnel come to my home and agree I have a problem and say they will talk to their superiors, but I never hear anything more,” said Tippett. “They won’t even take my phone calls anymore.”
“I’ve been over there and I know some of you are aware of these big fans they use at the mines, well, imagine one of those within 50 to 75 feet of your front door going 24 hours a day,” said Kennedy.
Harlan County Attorney Fred Busroe said the county doesn’t have jurisdiction in the city of Cumberland.
“Through our ordinance we have two problems, jurisdiction… and we exempt legitimate business purposes,” said Busroe.”I think it is beneficial to your case that you didn’t come to this nuisance it came to you. That puts you in a better position when you litigate.”
The court directed a letter be sent to the mayor and council at Cumberland notifying them a complaint has been filed and encourage them to enforce their ordinance.
“I’ve read their ordinance and they have a good ordinance,” said Kennedy. “Somebody needs to force the city of Cumberland to do their job. The man has got to have some kind of help. If the city had done their job and enforced their ordinance this man would not be down here talking to us today.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, email@example.com