By PJ Martin
At the fiscal court meeting held last Thursday, Carol Perkins along with Rita Shaw were in attendance to discuss a sawdust issue in the area near Pennington Stave Company. “I’m not one to take a stand publically as such, but when it involves your 102-year-old mother and your 100-year-old uncle, two of the oldest people in our county who live directly across the road from the stave factory then it’s time to take a stand.”
Perkins advised that she had already spoken with PSC owner Chad Pennington to ask for a resolution of the problem with sawdust flying from the conveyor. It was pointed out that Pennington had installed a boot on the end of the conveyor trying to alleviate the problem. One of the magistrates informed everyone that Pennington has also ordered another piece that has not arrived although they were unsure what it is.
“I have yet to understand why that particular factory could not be operated as it could be. Why does the sawdust have to go directly into the air making everybody in that community a prisoner in their home?” asked Perkins.
“My mother was doing fine until about 3 weeks after the sawdust hit her house. You could write your name on the window sills. We put plastic up on the windows, we have bought two powerful air filters, and she is now on oxygen 24/7, and has full-time caregivers,” stated Perkins adding, “Now, can I prove the sawdust did that? I haven’t attempted to. Common sense would tell you it didn’t help.”
Perkins told the court that she had brought one of the caregivers, Rita Shaw with her and she was the first to bring it to her attention, because she is there caring for her mother.
Shuffett’s Day Care has reported this also, because they have elderly people in their care daily.
Perkins explained, “I’m here to make you aware that it is a problem and maybe you can help figure out what we can do…How do we solve this problem?”
“The EPA is involved,” Perkins noted of the multiple branches of EPA this one deals with air quality and she has spoken to an agent named Todd from the Bowling Green office. Further, he has written a citation to PSC and the issue must be fixed by January 1, 2024.
In the discussion, it was determined that the Industrial Board holds the mortgage and holds the title on the land although the city and the county both invested money into the PSC project.
Magistrate Daniel Bragg reading from his phone stated, “For verification, the Industrial Board owns the property and Chad, by Chad, I mean Pennington Stave and Cooperage owns the equipment…The building and lot are on a lease/buy agreement.
So if you can tell me what I need to do next…I don’t want to close it down. That’s not my goal. You know I’m in support of anything in Metcalfe County. But this has gotta stop!”
Perkins did bring a photo of a cabinet building operation that pipes their sawdust straight outside through a large hose to a container hoping that something similar could be used to solve this problem. She also asked if the fiscal court could tell her what to do next to get this resolved.
“We really need to get that fixed…I don’t know what we could do,” stated Bragg.
Judge/Executive Larry Wilson answered, “I’m 100% for what you said (referring to the photo). I’ve had people come by my office…From Hill Street and I’ve had calls. I talked to Chad personally and I was told something had been ordered that would solve the problem…But, being on the Industrial Board, I feel that’s where you need to go next, because everybody involved will be there. And that would be the time and the place to come up with a solution.” It was also suggested that when she goes before the Industrial Board, Chad Pennington be there so that everyone can work out a solution together.