Neighbors dispute Walker plant’s move to operate at night

Neighbors and operators of a concrete plant agreed Thursday night to meet in an attempt to work out their environmental differences.

Bobby Achord, of Walker, complained to the Livingston Parish Council about noise and dust coming from Ascension Ready Mix Inc.’s plant on Walker South Road.

Stephen Triche, a company representative, appeared before the council to ask for a five-year variance of the parish’s noise ordinance so the plant can operate all night in addition to its usual daytime hours.

The council had given the company a six-month variance, which ran out Sunday.

Triche said not being able to operate at night means he can’t bid as low on jobs because his firm sometimes has to haul concrete from its plants in Ascension or East Baton Rouge parishes.

He told the council he didn’t know how often the plant may need to operate at night.

“I’m asking for a little help — a little sleep,” Achord told the council members in asking that they deny the request.

Even when the plant itself isn’t operating in the evening, “the trucks crank up between 1 and 3 every night,” he said.

The plant has houses on three sides of its property, Achord said.

Joey Stevenson told the council he can hear the plant from his home four miles away.

Stevenson said that if the council gives Ascension Ready Mix another variance, he plans to ask for a variance for his businesses also.

“We cannot continue to bend the ordinance to benefit this business,” said Taryn Creekbaum, who has long complained about the council’s decisions in issuing variances to its ordinances.

Councilwoman Sonya Collins, who represents the district where the plant is located, told Triche that she has to consider her other constituents as well as the ready-mix firm.

The council tabled the request for two weeks while Collins meets with opposing sides to try to work out a resolution.