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Summerside resident frustrated by noisy air circulation unit, councillor working to address concerns

Ann Gallant's Market Street home is next to IO Solutions Call Centre Inc. The facility has a large heating and cooling unit that is built up off the ground and is pointed directly at her backyard. The noise produced by the system has been a bother for almost three years.
Ann Gallant's Market Street home is next to IO Solutions Call Centre Inc. The facility has a large heating and cooling unit that is built up off the ground and is pointed directly at her backyard. The noise produced by the system has been a bother for almost three years.
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

Ann Gallant says she has a 747 in her back yard.

At least the noise that an air circulation system on the neighbouring business makes is as loud as one.

"We're going on three years now and we're still in the same situation with no real solutions."

Gallant's Market Street house is located behind IO Solutions Call Center Inc., based in a city-owned building.

The air circulation system has been the source of many sleepless nights and constant noise for Gallant and her husband since late 2016, early 2017.

She approached the city about the noise issue in 2018, and the council at the time installed a special blanketing intended to muffle the noise.

She said it didn't help with the noise and was "more or less told to live with it".

When a new council was elected in 2019, Gallant approached her new councillor, Cory Snow, hoping he might be able to help.

"He's been a big help and he's been really good about it. But things are moving very slowly. And I don't care what they do, I just want the noise to go away."

"I stand by the opinion that we own the building, we created the problem and we need to rectify it."

Snow said Gallant told him of the noise situation when he was campaigning and on the heels of being elected.

Since then, he said he's been working to address the problem.

"It's not moving as fast as I'd like it to. One just has to sit in her back yard to see how quickly (the noise) would affect the neighbour," said Snow.

He said he brought his concerns to then CAO Bob Ashley, the technical services department and the economic development department.

"I stand by the opinion that we own the building, we created the problem and we need to rectify it."

Before being a call centre, the building housed a co-op. When it was renovated for the call centre, it was determined the structure wasn't strong enough to house the heating and cooling unit on the roof.

Snow said why the building wasn't renovated to become strong enough to have the unit based on the roof was a question for the previous council and the engineering firm that did the initial work.

He said a rebuttal he has faced from city departments is the fact there have been other units within the building, such as freezers, that made noise.

"I keep coming back to the fact that this was something we did," he said.

He said the uncertainty of what can be done and the unbudgeted cost associated with it have been roadblocks in getting something done.

"But I really am hopeful that my fellow councillors understand that I'd support addressing the concerns like this if it were in another ward."

He said it's important the city take action because it shows that if development happens within the city and residents have a concern that it will impact them, the city will respond.

@modernmillee

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