Noise, accident hazards come with Navy’s plan

Published 8:15 am Friday, October 8, 2010

To the Editor:

Well, sounds like a done deal (“Navy eyes Franklin,” Sunday, Oct. 3). Although the mayor says the City Council needs to approve it, he does not anticipate serious objection.

The mayor’s media comments would suggest that there is only one side to this issue — a new revenue stream — but the fact is this revenue stream comes with significant other concerns including high noise zones and accident potential zones.

I have commented on this subject before, cautioning against trading quality of life for intrusive noise and risk of crash. But the Navy needs a place to practice, and the City of Franklin needs revenue.

I am not suggesting opposition to this opportunity, but rather opposition to an uninformed council vote. We need clear, open consideration of the drawbacks.

Citizens should insist on a full-scale “dress rehearsal” and a clear identification of accident potential zones before committing to the Navy. We should insist on experiencing a live, worse-case nighttime example of what this will mean to us as a community.

The Navy will assign decibel levels to the noise zones, but experience suggests these watered down numbers bear little to no resemblance to reality.

We lived with and even embraced “the smell” because it meant jobs. The Navy will not bring jobs. It will bring noise and risk.

Let’s not be seduced by the revenue without clearly understanding the negative implications. This needs to happen before a vote is taken. Property values, safety and quality of life hang in the balance. Contact your councilperson, demand an informed vote!

Rick Ivey