Kent plans to take Land O’Lakes to court over noise disturbance driving residents crazy

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:25 PM EDT
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KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - People in a Kent neighborhood said they’re being driven to madness by a constant noise coming from the nearby Land O’Lakes factory.

They finally got a glimmer of hope on Thursday.

19 News came out to Kent for this story exactly five months ago and neighbors said the noise has not gotten any better.

Since then, Land O’Lakes hired a sound consultant, but a spokesperson for the dairy company told 19 News they didn’t find any evidence to show that the noise complaints were connected to their plant, so they won’t be making any changes.

On Thursday the city told residents they’re taking Land O’Lakes to court.

Dell Tekieli said she used to buy whipped butter from Land O’Lakes, but not anymore.

“I would say to my husband they’re churning my butter,” said Tekieli. “They’re churning my butter listen to that and it was a droning on and on and it affected me to the point where I am taking sleeping pills.”

People living at the Crossings at Golden Pond and on nearby Sunnybrook Road said the sound has been disrupting their lives for over a year now.

“The thing that’s probably the most frustrating about it is when you go to bed,” said neighbor Matt Morrison. “You’ll be laying in bed, and you just hear that low hum come through the wall just constantly just coming through your walls.”

Shawn Hadaway has cancer in his spinal cord, and he doesn’t know how much time he has left.

“It’s tough enough to try to sleep in the pain to begin with and trying to fall asleep with that droning noise going is even tougher,” Hadaway said.

His wife works from home and cares for her husband full-time.

“I’m listening to that droning noise while I’m trying to work and it’s just agitating,” said Dianne Hadaway. “It grates on your nerves to hear that constant rrrr while you’re trying to concentrate on something.”

City officials said the noise has been confirmed by Kent Police, the Kent Health Department, Kent Code Enforcement, and city council members. It was also documented in the Land O’Lakes sound study.

“I think the sad part about it is they know it’s them and they’re denying it,” said Tekieli. “This is not an expensive situation. This is something that for a company that’s a 19-billion-dollar company this is a drop in the bucket.”

In a letter, the Kent City Manager told residents the city’s law director has reached out to a local law firm to move forward with an enforcement case against Land O’Lakes.

The legal action can only begin after a resident files a complaint against Land O’Lakes with the city.

“It’s kind of our last hope,” Morrison said. “If Land O’Lakes isn’t gonna take care of it on their own, then the law should be applied.”

“I would like to live out my last whatever time I have left in peace you know to have a nice quiet neighborhood like we had before.”

A spokesperson for Land O’Lakes said they will continue to work with the city if anything else comes up.

19 News will keep you updated once the city officially takes legal action.