Fryman given conditional approval

Published 10:07pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dowagiac Planning Commission Tuesday night gave conditional approval to Jerry Fryman establishing a plastic recycling facility that employs 43 people at 300 East Railroad St.
Fryman sought the special land-use permit necessary to install recycling facilities in the 53,000-square-foot structure zoned heavy industrial district.
Planners placed four conditions on Fryman.
The first three call for opaque screening to be installed at the parking/loading area of the 24-hour facility to prevent headlight glare from spilling onto adjoining residential properties; all outdoor storage shall be effectively screened from view from the public roadway and adjoining properties; and the developer shall maintain the site to prevent loose plastic/trash getting trapped in the existing six-foot chain link fence.
A fourth, stipulated by Mayor Donald Lyons as part of the motion by Councilman James Dodd, specifies 85 decibels at the property line.
The remaining building on the Jessup Door site is used by Tim Hippensteel for storage.
“We may (add) some office space,” Fryman said. “I’ve asked for first option to buy the (vacant) six acres for future expansion.”
Fryman, a building contractor for 13 years, acquired Fryman’s Recycling eight years ago from his uncle.
Fryman’s, 58011 M-51 South, Pokagon Township, specializes in sorting, blending, grinding and pulverizing. It operates in a 55,000-square-foot manufacturing and storage facility. It has three warehouses, including two in town, which will be consolidated at the existing facility.
The three-generation family business has been in operation for more than 25 years in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois as well as Michigan.
Fryman’s collects PVC, industrial plastics, vinyl siding and window profiles and offers toll grinding and toll pulverizing, redirecting the materials from landfills into re-use in new products.
A video posted on frymansrecycling.com website shows their processes and how a quantity of vinyl scrap can be harvested from a five-day, 600 construction volunteers Habitat for Humanity build of 20 houses.
Fryman’s has six granulators with muffled aspirators, one shredder, a 40,000-pound blender and four pulverizers, which will be increased to six with the move, which could push employment past 50.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a polymer. It is the third most-widely produced plastic after polyethylene and polypropylene. It enjoys wide use in construction because it is cheap, yet durable.
“You cannot have too many polymers in one building without cross-contamination,” he said, “so our plans are to move our PVC facility in here and keep our facility in Pokagon Township for other polymers.”
Fryman said 10 to 15 trucks come in and out, plus he has a fleet of five trucks.
“We would not use the back entrance” off the residential neighborhood, but primarily East Prairie Ronde to East Railroad.
Environmental analysis of the site conducted in 1998 “came out spotless,” Fryman said.
“We currently have paperwork in Benton Harbor for review to see if we need to do another one. I should know this week.”

Mid-range decibel readings

On Dec. 9 at about 11 a.m., Deputy Police Chief Steve Grinnewald, economic development consultant Cindy LaGrow and building official James Bradford conducted a noise decibel test at the existing Fryman’s on M-51 South.
With grinders in full operation and the 10-by-12-foot overhead door open for the test, the first reading 75 feet away showed 79 decibels.
A second reading, 145 feet away, registered 75 decibels.
By comparison, Bradford said, past readings at various factories throughout town at similar distances indicated decibel readings in the range of 64 to 95.
“We’ve never had any problem with the noise level where we’re at” adjacent to a house, Jerry Fryman told city planners and two women from East Prairie Ronde and Sherwood Street who posed questions during the public hearing held Tuesday.

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