Many Floyd County residents may have never heard of Cumberland Trail Subdivision, a beautiful, quaint area sitting amongst Booze Mountain overlooking GA Highlands College, and Bordeau Metals, LLC, a company focused in scrapping and recycling steel, based out of Tennessee. Some may wonder and ask: Who and how are these two totally separate entities connected?
Cumberland Trail, is a decades old community based subdivision, quiet and peaceful, with homes flooded with delightfully wooded lots and surrounded by natural beauty. Most of these homes are unique in their own styles, from traditional to modern to even tudor… They value anywhere from $325k – $475k, with an average annual property tax of $2400-$3000. The residents are a mixture of professional careers including healthcare professionals, teachers, real estate advisors, small business owners, retirees and military veterans. They all have the most important thing in common-they love their homes and the community of which their homes are nestled in. They all take tremendous
pride in maintaining their home’s beauty inside and out while sustaining the natural beauty that surrounds them all.
So, how does this community connect with Bordeau Metals, LLC. It begins with a, once treaded lightly upon, industrial area named Floyd County Industrial Park. This industrial park is located between Cumberland Trail subdivision and Ga Highlands College. It includes industries such as Pirelli, F & P, Summit Hill (formerly Southeastern Mills), Steel King, and Camp Industries to name a few. These mainstream companies have also embraced the beauty surrounding them. They all have developed policies to ensure the environment they are in is as untainted as possible from pollution to air, water, and soil to even noise levels. They ensured the neighboring residents of Cumberland Trail knew of their plans before constructing these plants, and wanted to ensure they had such policies in place to keep their communities’ and local wildlife’s quality of life of most importance. Until recently, residents have felt most thankful and blessed with these policies and have welcomed the nearby industry. One resident was even quoted saying, “I knew they were coming. This has always been zoned as non-heavy industrial, so I feared what was coming after we were notified of new factories and plants being built so close to our homes. However, to much surprise, I very seldom hear any loud, intolerable noises coming from any of them until now. This new scrap company, Bordeau Metals, has
ruined it for all of us!”
Bordeau Metals is a recycling and metal scrapyard from White Bluff, Tennessee. After the closing of Plant Hammond, a coal power plant owned and operated by GA Power, A Southern Company, scrapping the excess metals and recycling as much as possible, was imminent. GA Power then contracted Bordeau Metals to haul the dismantled Plant Hammond to their new location. The new location was offered and sold, 18 acres of once heavily wooded land, totaling only $450,000 to Bordeau Metals from Floyd County. This contract was also inevitably approved by Rome Floyd County Development Authority. They permitted Bordeau Metals to purchase the land, clear it, and set up a steel scrapyard bordering the properties of Cumberland Trail Subdivision with only requiring a minimum of a 200 ft. natural buffer. The large pieces of metal, once covered in years of coal ash, are transported from Plant Hammond to the recycling center near Cumberland Trail subdivision.
Bordeau Metals location on Enterprise Drive, adjacent to F & P. Some F & P employees have even stated “they had no idea they were coming until the trucks showed up with large, rusted chunks of steel they have never seen before and the noises coming from the sight sounded like the end of the world.” Once these large dismantled pieces arrive at Bordeau Metals, they are grinded, ripped, and torn into smaller pieces of metal and then hauled to a recycling company in Cartersville, GA. There are at least 6 cranes, 10 -12 haulers, and 11 employees. They work daily, from approximately 6:30 am until 6:00 pm Monday thru Saturday. Due to the size of the large pieces of 40-50 year old metal scraps, the noise coming from the site can be heard as far away as Pepperell Elementary school. Many have described the sounds as “apocalyptic”, sounds they have never heard before. Residents have stated the influx of wildlife is astonishing, too. One resident said, “I used to think I had many deer and other wildlife in my yard, but now it is unbelievable. They run around almost in a daze, confused. I know it is the noise and losing their once siren homes of pine thickets, now destroyed.” Another resident stated, “ The noise is so bad, it is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It is torture. My children do not go outside and my dogs howl and moan at the noise. My neighbors who live closer, have migraines and cry from it all. Some cannot even tolerate it at all and have left their homes! This is unfair and cannot be allowed to continue!” Not only does the operation work between most days of approximately 12 hours, GA Power, Plant Hammond, and Bordeau Metals have predicted this project, which is named “Project Clean Sweep” could last up to 5 years.
As unfortunate as this all may sound, is there an answer in the future? Many are unsure. Cumberland Trail residents have gone to numerous Floyd County commissioner meetings, where they were able to voice their complaints and concerns with the allotted 3 minutes each they are allowed. Some even had video recorded samples of the atrocious sounds and played them for the commissioners and had pictures blown up in size to show. A couple of residents were quoted saying, “Please, come to our homes. We will have a BBQ. We will sit outside on a Saturday
afternoon, and cook BBQ, while you see and listen to what we all have to see and listen to 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.” Some others kept it short and sweet, and stated to commissioners, “How would you like this in your backyard? Because I want it out of mine!”
Most of the residents all pleaded for the same thing, just relocating the project to a more rural area, an area away from them and other residents of Floyd County. And it isn’t just the noise, how will this all impact the environment? Some wonder, where does any coal ash
residue go when the metal is scrapped, divided, and ground into smaller pieces. During the hauling process, are any metal pieces lost and become debris or ash into the air? Does it go into the local streams and lakes? Will it go into old, rusted county water systems of nearby residents? Can it be leaked into the air and cause illnesses to people and wildlife? Why put this project within 200 feet of homes that were once untainted from industry?
Who is truly to blame for this catastrophe of a business contract, or all parties involved to blame? These are many questions local
residents have. In summation, it is clear the Cumberland Trail residents are willing to fight to maintain their own integrity as hard-working, tax paying Floyd County residents, their homes of immeasurable value and will not sit and listen, and watch, their once tranquil community be lost to sounds of apocalyptic forces and unknown particles seeping into the ground, water, and air.
A community hearing between residents will take place soon. Cumberland Trail subdivision homeowners all have asked for fellow Floyd County residents to visit their subdivision, any time during Bordeau Metals operation hours, to hear and see for themselves what is happening to this once treaded lightly upon neighborhood, The Trail.
CVN reached out to the County Commission and received this quote. “I understand their frustration and we are working to find a viable solution for both parties involved,” Scotty Hancock, commissioner.
CVN also reached out to Bordeau Metals, LLC, and they had no statement.