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Casino site completes a lot of "earthwork"
Residents who reside around the casino site were invited to a community meeting with representatives from Penn National and Smoot Construction on July 27.
Both parties addressed their policies to limit the physical impact the project has on the neighborhood during construction.
According to Michael Crockett, diversity manager at Smoot Construction, the company has a good neighbor construction site policy in place, which limits construction hours.
It also applies measures of dust control and noise control to not be a nuisance to the homes and businesses surrounding them.
However, residents are complaining about the amount of dust leaving the construction site and coming onto their properties. One resident testified to the dust repeatedly coating his vehicle.
According to Crockett, dust should be controlled and not allowed to drift to adjacent properties. He said if the dust is not being taken care of, report it to Smoot Construction directly.
“We do not want to be bad neighbors; we want to work with you. So, let us know,” Crockett said.
Paul Campbell of Smoot Construction said the two subcontractors hired on the site are responsible for wetting the ground to control the dust.
“Hopefully they take better care of that during the day than they have been,” Campbell said.
As dictated by the policy language, as diversity manager, Crockett must meet with subcontractors within 30 days of the first community meeting to explain in detail the policies at the site. He will also be responsible for updating the community on every major stage of the process.
So far in the project various retention ponds have been shaped and dug out – with a few more to be completed. The present priority is to finish the earth berm adjacent the homes on the east for noise control.
According to Ed Hanson of Penn National, the specifications on the 10 foot privacy fence are nearly done and the fence should be erected in August. Penn National is confident the privacy fence, coupled with 14 topiary bushes, will secure the privacy of the residents from the RV park just west of their property.
“Quite a bit of earthwork done,” Hanson said in regards to the present phase of construction.
Two concrete structures have also been erected on site. The first block form is planned to be the central plant where electricity will be distributed to surrounding buildings. The structure on the Georgesville Road side is nearly as high as its going to be and almost ready for steel to be installed.
Hanson said by next spring and summer they will see the most workers hired. This could include 2,000 construction employees working at once. That number would slowly decline.
According to Karen Bailey, Penn National is planning a job fair this autumn. Word on casino jobs like dealers, servers, or bartenders can be expected six months prior to the grand opening.
“We are a 24 hour, seven days a week operation. So, lots of jobs (available),” Hanson said.
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