Word on the street is that the Green Valley Agricultural agri-business in Moline has been sold and the new owner will take over Tuesday, Jan. 2.
Townbroadcast has sent an inquiry to the current owner, but still the identity of the new owner is undisclosed. Dorr Township Planning Commission Chairman Robert Wagner, Vice Chairman Robert Traxler and Commissioner Larry Dolegowski have confirmed they have heard of the sale as well.
The agri-business has been the focus of complaints about excessive noise during sleeping hours and otherwise from neighboring residents. About a dozen of them in October appeared at a meeting of the Planning Commission to ask local officials to do something about the noise generated by trains at the Green Valley Agricultural site in the neighborhood at 1250 146th Ave., Moline.
The Planning Commission promised to have Township Attorney Clifford Bloom draft a letter to the agribusiness and officials with the Grand Elk Railroad.
The complaints surfaced a couple of years ago and Township Trustee John Tuinstra has acted on residents’ behalf in talks with railroad and agribusiness officials. He sent a letter asking they operate only during daytime hours.
Green Valley set up shop on 146th Avenue near the railroad tracks, not far from 14th Street and supposedly agreed to hook up hook up to Dorr-Leighton Township sewer services with the potential of 45 employees on at least a seasonal or part-time basis. A web site indicates there are about 50 employees.
But trains that come to and go from the business sound their warning whistles for long periods and when they back up, an annoying screeching noise is made that’s so bad, one local woman said, it makes her house vibrate. Molly Parker in 2014 suggested the business move the switch further away from residences, perhaps to behind the old asphalt facility or old co-op building, but officials said that would be very costly.
Ms. Parker said the “rumbling from the (train) engines has disrupted our lives.”
Tuinstra added that he’s been told the company could schedule daytime only deliveries, which would ease the trouble.
Terrance Keenan, who works out of his home, said, “It feels like like things are being done for the benefit of their business without consideration for others.”
Nancy Wooten said, “I’ve lived here for 35 to 40 years now and this has become a very disturbing part of our lives. The noise sounds like a roller coaster… I think we should have the right to get some sleep at night.”
Dale Harrison said it is one engineer particularly who seems to blow the horn with a little too much enthusiasm in the early morning hours.
Planning Commission Chairman Bob Wagner said Township Attorney Cliff Bloom should be contacted and asked to write a letter outlining the possible violations of conditions for site plan approval.
Vice Chairman Robert Traxler said it should also be determined how much of the problem is with Green Valley and how much with the railroad.
The company’s web site presents a history of Green Valley:
“Green Valley Agricultural, Inc. was originated in 1989 by a father and a son farm operation known as Golden Grain Farms and John Christian, an agronomy sales person who specialized in crop production. All three men were from the Southwestern Grand Rapids area. They bought a small retail operation in the Caledonia countryside known as ‘Connors Farm Supply.’ The farmers involved grew corn, soybeans and wheat on over 4,000 acres in this same area.
In 1995, Green Valley Office Manager Mark Edema became involved as a partner. In 2001 John Christian and Mark Edema, the minority partners purchased the ownership of the farming partners.
“However, the influence from our farming partners continues to influence our company in many ways. Our farming partners desired that we sell the very best products available to farmers…
“Since 1989 Green Valley has become the preferred fertilizer supplier for this area’s vegetable industry and works closely with the area’s finest row crop and fruit growers as well. Since our inception, Green Valley has proven it’s commitment to agricultural production. Green Valley services its clients with the best Custom Application Personnel and Equipment available.
“Green Valley has also invested heavily in assets to support farmers in Southwest Michigan. Green Valley now operates retail farm service centers in Caledonia, Hamilton, Bangor and West Olive.”