Ashley McAlister, 1230 Tasso Lane, complained Friday to Airport Authority members that construction workers are in her yard regularly without permission, that her recently pressure-washed house is now covered in construction dust and that crews are not regularly monitoring a vibrations box to gauge any impact on the structure of her house by area blasting associated with airport construction.
She mentioned past incidents where she has instructed construction workers to stay off her property only to be told by the same workers that it is not her property.
“It’s a big, big problem,” McAlister told Authority members. “Everybody thinks you own my property, but you don’t.”
She said it is common for “groups of people” to be seen in her yard as early as 7 a.m. McAlister, who spoke to Airport Authority members in a calm but determined voice, also pointed out her house was pressure-washed in April. Less than three months later, she said, it is covered in construction dust from Phase I of the project which includes the redirecting of a portion of Tasso Road.
Speaking on behalf of her husband, Daniel, as well, the Bradley County woman told the group, “Our house is small and it’s not a very nice house ... but it is our home.” Although the airport project has been disruptive to the family, she said, “We’ve never complained ... we’ve never said anything.” She added, “But we never thought we’d be treated like this.”
In a respectful tone, she asked the Airport Authority to keep construction workers off her property, to pay for having her house re-washed, to regularly monitor the vibration box to determine any potential damage to her house and to respect her property.
“We are there,” she pleaded. “We are living there ... it is affecting our lives.” She added, “But no one is seeing us.”
Sympathetic to the woman’s appeal, Airport Authority Vice Chairman Mike McCoy, presiding Friday during the absence of Chairwoman Lynn DeVault, apologized for the disruptions caused by the nearby construction and earth-moving.
“We apologize,” McCoy offered. “And we will follow through, we will check on everything and we will pursue it.” He assured her this will be done.
Following Friday’s meeting, Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel, who attends Airport Authority sessions regularly, confirmed the city will pay for re-washing the homeowner’s house. She said the McAlister home sits in the fringe area of the airport construction and is in the path of construction dust. Casteel pointed out once binder (an initial layer of asphalt) has been poured on the new road bed that the dust issue should be resolved.
The city manager said the re-washing should take place in about two weeks. Doing it before then would subject the house to even more dust before the binder is poured.
Casteel talked with McAlister following the meeting, as did several Airport Authority members and PDC Consultant representatives Mark Paslick and Ron Fitzgerald who assured the property owner her concerns will be addressed.
Casteel described McAlister’s plight as “unfortunate” and said that the city and the Airport Authority will take her concerns seriously.